County, town go back to square one
Before any water tower is built in Weddington, town and county officials have to agree on a site. After the Weddington town council rejected a proposal in November, county officials terminated the contract to purchase a parcel of land on Providence Road.
“The county’s purchase agreement with the property owner was contingent on receiving zoning approval from the Town of Weddington,” Union County Public Information Officer Brett Vines said. “With the Town of Weddington rescinding its approval of the zoning to construct the the tank at the site on Providence Road, the County is not moving forward with the purchase.”
The water tower was scheduled to be built at 247 Providence Road South, part of a 9 acre lot. Public Works officials wanted to use the 1.5 million gallon tower to improve static pressure and fire flow in the western portion of Union County during peak demand.
A ground level tank would raise the cost of the project to $6.18 million, $1.5 million more than a water tower. The reason for that is the fact the tower’s height helps direct and guide water flow. Ground level tanks would require a pump station.
Weddington residents have argued that the town shouldn’t have to pay for something that would impact only a few of their residents. Only 18 percent of the Weddington’s 73 subdivisions have fire hydrants. Additionally, 80 percent of homes use wells instead of county water. Of the town’s subdivisions, 60 of the 73 use only well water. However in the northern part of the town, water pressure during the low demand portions of the day barely meets the minimum requirements for fire departments to use hydrants. At peak demand times, there’s no guarantee the hydrants would have enough pressure to pump out the water.
Newly elected Weddington mayor Walker Davidson said he and the rest of the council would be glad to work with the county, within limits
“The only place for a water tower in Weddington is in our commercial district,” Davidson said. “I would work with the county to agree on a location in that area.”
After terminating the contract, the county hasn’t decided how to move forward, Vines said.
“No timetable has been set on purchasing another property,” Vines said.