Press Release January 8, 2016

Press Release

January 8, 2016

Serving our citizens and customers; investing in growth, progress and the future

In a review of 2015 progress to goals, we are pleased with the work and dedication of our City employees and their service to our citizens and customers last year. We feel that we have accomplished a lot but always want to stretch ourselves more in providing great services and upgrading the City’s infrastructure, utilities and long term goals. Many of the utility systems are quite old and in need of upgrade and in some cases in need of additional capacity. We will continue to be efficient and fiscally sound with the assets that our citizens and customers have entrusted to us. And we also want to invest in the future. The list of activities and accomplishments in 2015 is long, diverse and many of the projects have been of high complexity:

*Replaced 2000 feet of aged water main on Cherokee Street
*Replaced 2100 feet of aged water main on Thompson Street
*Replaced 4000 feet of aged water main on Foster Mill Drive (which included relocating services)
*Engineered 12,000 feet of new water main to the new Walker County Industrial Park
*Installed 600 feet of new water main on McCarter Road for the Unique Fabricating business expansion
*Installed a new 2 million gallon concrete water tank on Reservoir Hill and replaced water lines connecting the tank to the water treatment plant down Henderson Street along with 4000 feet of new water main.
*A water conservation leak detection study was conducted (through grant funding at no cost to the City) which identified issues in the aged water infrastructure and saved 49 million gallons of water per year.
*Installed a new wastewater treatment plant sludge holding tank at the pumping station
*Rehabilitated the wastewater treatment plant water clarifier
*Replaced a 1986 tractor used for sludge hauling
*Replaced an obsolete Land Applicator “Gator” for sludge application
*Repaired 17 aged and significantly damaged monuments in the cemetery through Perpetual Care Fund
*Upgraded 169 natural gas service lines
*Installed new natural gas regulator station on Foster Mill Drive to enable expansion south
*Added 99 new utility services
*Paving on Cherokee Street
*Paving on Foster Mill Drive
*Paving on Ryan Avenue
*Paving on Chestnut Street
*Replaced 80 electric distribution poles
*Completed safety rebuild on an electric bucket truck
*Trimmed vegetation on 21 miles of electric lines
*Installed 6 new dugout roofs at Lowell Greene Park
*Installed a new sidewalk ramp at Lowell Greene Park
*Began transformation of Ross Abney Complex

Projects that we didn’t complete last year as planned were paving on Thompson Street (due primarily to the Barwick fire) but that is still in the plan to complete. We were also unable to build sidewalks on Cherokee Street as scheduled but that is also still in the plan.

As most citizens know, City assets and team members responded to a few emergency situations such as 2 major storms and multiple fires, the largest being Barwick Mills.

Some of this 2015 progress can be readily seen and some is less visible (such as utilities underground). Our efforts and investment are a part of our ongoing commitment to citizen and customer service, economic development, growth and enhancing the quality of life in our community.

We thank our citizens for their support and our City team for all their hard work. And we look forward to a productive 2016.