Pittsboro Board of Commissioners

Sanford provides update on water plant expansion project


PITTSBORO — The town’s board of commissioners heard a presentation from Sanford officials regarding the joint water treatment facility project Monday.

The presentation served as an update for the board; Pittsboro is a part of the interlocal agreement for the expansion project.

“Pre-2018, the city of Sanford knew that they needed to consider a water plant expansion,” Sanford Public Works Director Victor Czar told Pittsboro commissioners. “Growth is coming for us, growth is coming for you — it’s recognized it’s not going to stop.”

The regional water plant expansion is a part of an interlocal agreement, created by Sanford in 2021, involving multiple local government agencies, including Chatham County, Fuquay-Varina, Holly Springs and Pittsboro.

The expansion would allow the entities in the interlocal agreement to utilize millions of gallons of treated water for their own residents, which former Pittsboro Town Manager Chris Kennedy previously said would address “the lesser known evil” of water capacity issues.

Pittsboro draws its water from the Haw River, which has repeatedly tested positive for potential human carcinogens, such as PFAS, PFOS and 1,4-Dioxane, following discharges of such slugs from an unknown source in Greensboro.

Czar said the project has four parts: expanding the conventional treatment facility, adding a Granular Activated Carbon (GAC) facility, improving the raw water infrastructure and increasing the treatment of residual contaminants.

The project is on schedule so far, he said, with 90% of the design of the expansion completed. The design is expected to be completed by February, and Czar said Sanford would hope to have bids for the construction project by April.

“We are about to enter the part of the schedule that we have no control of,” he said. “We have to submit to the state for their approval … we hope that we’ll get it back in time to bid it in April, maybe we will, maybe we won’t, but we’ve met our part of the schedule."

Updated cost estimates were also presented to commissioners, which showed the entire project would cost $237.3 million. Czar said Pittsboro would be expected to pay around $37 million for its share of the project.

“We have an engineer’s estimate at 60% design [completion],” Czar told commissioners. “We should be getting an updated estimate on that at 90% [design completion] within the next month.”

If everything goes according to schedule, Czar said construction could start in June with completion projected for September 2026.

“This schedule may be optimistic, but it’s something we need to meet,” he said. “We need water, so we’re going to move as quickly as we can.”

In other business:

• Commissioners approved a special events funding request for $700 from the Downtown Advisory Committee for an event in February. The event, called Sip n’ Stroll, is set to take place on Feb. 4 and is intended to bring people to downtown Pittsboro’s shopping district.

• Commissioners also heard a presentation from Karyl Fuller of the Triangle Area Rural Planning Organization (TARPO) regarding project funding proposals for various road projects for Chatham Park. More information is expected to be shared with the board throughout the year.