WHITE LAKE — The plans for a new water storage tank in White Lake are quickly becoming reality with work soon getting under way to have the site cleaned and leveled.
In a meeting of the town council on Tuesday, the board voted unanimously to award the project of preparing the lot on U.S. Hwy. 701 to Sutton Contracting of Elizabethtown. The company will clean the lot and remove logging debris, and then level the site in preparation for erecting a new 100,000 gallon water storage tank.
The board received three bids on the project, with Sutton Contracting putting in the low bid at $9,680. Register’s Land Development submitted a bid of $15,000 and Merritt Brothers Construction submitted a bid of $14,100.
Commissioner Larry Barnhart questioned the large difference between Sutton’s bid and the others. Public Works Director Tim Frush told the board he was unable to account for the almost $4,000 difference between bids.
“I can’t really explain it. Two of them are close and one is a lot lower,” said Frush of Sutton’s bid.
Mayor Goldston Womble updated the board on the progress of obtaining the necessary easements and encroachments for the new water lines that will be installed as part of water tank project.
“NCDOT has approved an encroachment agreement,” said Womble.
According to Womble, Frush is working to secure the necessary easements from Tom Keith and the Waterford Estates subdivision for the town to place an 8-inch water line that will traverse U.S. 701 and N.C. 53.
In other business, the board was asked to consider hiring Roger Teachey as a part-time meter reader. Teachey is the husband of town employee Patsy Teachey.
The town’s personnel policy reads, “no person shall be hired or assigned to work under the supervision of a relative nor shall any employee’s relative be employed without the prior approval of the town board.”
“I don’t have a problem with him, but I question the need for another employee,” said Commissioner Don Smith.
Frush told the board that it usually takes four to six hours a month to read the water meters. Currently, when the public works employees go out to read meters, Frush said it takes about eight people to read them.
“We can’t use the inmates and someone has to supervise them,” said Frush. “We try to do all the meters in one day.”
Womble told the board there have been problems in the past with reliability on readings.
“We can’t do a hiring of anyone related to anyone without bringing it before the board. You are simply authorizing that if someone is needed, Roger can be hired, if needed,” said Womble.
The board voted unanimously to approve the measure. Womble told the board this does not change the personnel policy.