Perhaps no other issue has generated more "buzz" in the town of Mineral Springs than the issue of sewers. And, perhaps no other issue has generated more rumors, misinformation, and downright lies in the town of Mineral Springs than the issue of sewers!

First, the good news: thanks to years of hard work and persuasion on my part and on the part of your town council, and the commitment of the Union County board of commissioners, the long-awaited Union County sewer line to serve downtown Mineral Springs is on its way!

On May 6, 2013, Councilwoman Critz and I had the pleasure of being present at the Board of County Commissioners meeting to hear Commissioner Richard Helms make a motion "to extend from the existing sewer line down Highway 75 through the stop light down to the original planned pump station along the Highway 75 Corridor." This motion passed unanimously! During discussion, Commissioner Thomas praised the foresight and vision of your town council, stating that "the Town had shared with the Board the Town’s master plan for downtown", and that "it was refreshing to see a town embrace commercial development with a vision and to have the infrastructure come in."

This sewer line will be an 8" gravity line beginning at the creek crossing Highway 75 on the way to Monroe where the current sewer line crosses the highway, and will extend westward to the "high point" a few hundred feet west of Potter Road. An additional 8" gravity line will continue westward from that point to a pump station to be installed at the low point near the creek just past the Steeplechase entrance, and a 4" force main will extend back to the high point to connect with the main 8" line eastward. This combined gravity/pumped system will provide sewer access to all properties along Highway 75 throughout the downtown business district. 

Engineering and survey work has already begun on this project. Many of you may have noticed various survey markers on utility poles along Highway 75 in the downtown area. Construction should begin in a few months, and service will probably be available in less than one year!

Many downtown business and property owners have already stated that they plan to immediately expand and improve their property, including one and possibly two new restaurants and various new retail opportunities.

Now, a few of the myths you may have heard, and the real facts instead of the false claims people like to spread:

MYTH: I have always opposed sewer service because I "didn't want the town to grow".
FACT: I have always wanted sewer service for downtown Mineral Springs. In 2001, Union County proposed the sewer line (now installed) to serve huge residential subdivisions at Stonebridge, Briarcrest, Tuscany, and Shannon Vista, among others. I opposed this project at the time because the line would not serve downtown Mineral Springs. I met with Union County Public Works, the Parkdale Mill, and the City of Monroe in an attempt to find an alternate solution that would serve Mineral Springs without creating thousands of budget-busting new houses, but no alternative could be found.
MYTH: Sometime prior to 2005, a developer offered to install a sewer line and build a grocery store downtown which I turned down.
FACT: I have never heard of this imaginary developer, this imaginary grocery store, or this imaginary sewer line, and neither has any town council member. The developer mustn't have been very serious, since evidently he never told anybody about it or contacted the town's zoning administrator about his "plans".
MYTH: A downtown property owner and candidate for mayor once claimed that he could install a "liquid system" very inexpensively to serve downtown and that I prevented him from doing so.
FACT: I had heard a candidate discuss such a system, but it was never proposed to the town council or to Union County Public Works. If this property owner really wanted to build such a system, all he would have had to do was convince Union County to let him do so! In reality, these systems, which consist of septic tanks interconnected with small, shallow drain lines that eventually make their way to the county system, are plagued with leakage and high failure rates, and Union County would never have approved installation of such a system. A similar system was installed in part of Stallings 20 years ago, and now Stallings and Union County officials are seeking millions of dollars to dig up this mess and replace it with a normal sewer system.
MYTH: My opponent is somehow planning on getting county sewer service for downtown because I won't do it.
FACT: Downtown sewer service is already a DONE DEAL, and I am proud to say I helped make this happen! Union County Public Works just informed me that construction could be complete as soon as June 2014. Look for yourself...the survey markers along Highway 75 "tell the tale".

Here's the one FACT you need to remember: your town council and I have been seeking a sewer solution from Union County since 2003 or 2004, and Union County has finally come through for your town with the approval of these sewer lines!

I am proud of my role in making this essential project a reality.