SILER CITY — The Siler City Board of Commissioners and the owners of the Chatham-Siler City Advanced Manufacturing (CAM) Site came to an agreement with a unanimous vote on Monday to reduce the …
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SILER CITY — The Siler City Board of Commissioners and the owners of the Chatham-Siler City Advanced Manufacturing (CAM) Site came to an agreement with a unanimous vote on Monday to reduce the sewer allocation on reserve for the megasite.
In September 2017, the town entered into an agreement with Tim Booras and David Griffin, owners of the CAM Site, to allocate one million gallons per day of sewer allocation to the site. The CAM Site, which is located on Highway 64 to the west of Siler City, is one of two industrial megasites in Chatham County vying for a major industrial producer. The purpose of the allocation was to ensure the site would certified by the Duke Site Readiness Program. Certification under the Duke Site Readiness Program provides a megasite with certain benefits including a full assessment of the location’s readiness and acknowledgment and support from the N.C. Dept. of Commerce.
In the past two years, the town has experienced rainfall at more significant rates that previously, causing the town’s average flow to the Siler City Wastewater Treatment Plant to increase. In addition, the town allotted a 1.25 million gallon a day sewer allocation for the Mountaire Poultry Plant. That combination of factors has created a situation where the town’s sewer system is near capacity, at least on paper. As a result, the town’s ability to allocate sewer to other development such as housing or other industrial development has been inhibited.
In discussions with the town, the Chatham Economic Development Corporation and the owners of the CAM Site offered to relinquish 250,000 gallons a day sewer capacity back to the town. According to interim Town Manager Roy Lynch, this capacity would allow for growth in the next one or two years if all the proposed projects currently in the queue in the town’s planning department were to come to fruition. The agreement also notes that if the town demonstrated additional need for capacity, the CAM owners would “in good faith consider” relinquish an additional 250,000 gallons of capacity.
The agreement will not endanger the CAM Site’s certification because the state only required 300,000 gallons per day allocation. And according to Lynch, that will allow the town to work with development in other areas that will potentially increase the site’s competitive edge. In the long-run, the town is still working to conduct a $22 million dollar improvement and expansion at the Siler City Wastewater Treatment Plant. Grants have been secured for a majority of the first phase of the project which will be additional nutrient removal. Town officials are still working with multiple entities to secure grants and/or low interest loans for the phase two which is expansion. The expansion is tentatively scheduled for completion in 2024.
Reporter Casey Mann can be reached at CaseyMann@Chathamnr.com.