My #1 mole in the Moore county bureaucracy tipped me off that commissioners Craig Kennedy and Nick Picerno recently connected with state Senator Jerry Tillman in Raleigh for a fact-finding mission on how to best address the county’s water issues. The leaders met with state environmental agency representatives, and were reportedly not comforted by what they heard.
I caught up with commissioner Picerno, and he confirmed the substance of my mole’s report. Picerno said he, Kennedy, and Tillman were trying to get some firm answers on all the options for the Robbins water plant. The Town of Robbins shuttered their water plant a few years ago — lacking the wherewithal to continue its operations. County leaders HAD hoped to joint venture with the town to use the plant to supplement the county’s water supply.
Picerno said the state would only grant a permit for up to 50,000 gallons per day from Bear Creek. For the Robbins plant to draw from Deep River, a two to three year permitting process paid for by the county would be required. According to Picerno:
“From what I understand, 50,000 gallons a day would cover maybe one-eighth of the need out in Seven Lakes. The option for Deep River was especially frustrating to me. They want us to spend money to hire an engineer, and go through a two to three year process, and maybe or maybe not get permission to move forward. If the plant’s permit had not lapsed, going the Deep River route would have been a lot easier. All of this certainly throws a monkey wrench into things. A deal with Robbins is not dead. But it certainly is looking like more of a long-shot.”
Picerno said other options for the county to look at include Randolph County and Harnett County. He said Moore County has received some appealing figures from Harnett County:
“We’re already pumping some water from Harnett County. We haven’t received any firm figures from Randolph just yet. I am concerned about the amount of piping that option might require. And it looks like there might be some other costs there that knock up the overall cost. We need some more information there so we can sit down and crunch the numbers and figure out what makes the most sense for Moore County financially and in a practical sense.”