The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

December 4, 2013

Princeville system shows improvement


PRINCEVILLE — PRINCEVILLE — After a year of taking over Princeville troubled water and sewer system, Edgecombe County reports a vast improvement has been made.

During the Edgecombe County Board of Commissioners meeting on Monday, County Manger Lorenzo Carmon reported that before the takeover, the faulty system recorded 27 percent water loss. As of Monday, the report states only an 8 percent loss. Another improvement in the takeover included monthly delinquent customers that went from 89 to 45.

Perhaps the most satisfying for both entities was the county collecting all but $690 of it past due balances that netted $47,876.

"They have made a whopping difference," said Commissioner Donald Boswell.

The county began turning things around by repairing eight of the town's nine lift stations, repairing or replacing pumps, and patching 10 leaks.

By the suggestion of the Local Government Commission, the county took over the faulty system in December 2012. At that time, the faulty system had numerous leaks and customers were not paying for the services.

"Everybody get their bills and we treat them just like we treat ours," Carmon said. "If a person not paying their bill, we cut them off and put a lock on it."

 Mayor Priscilla Everettte-Oates and Commissioner Isabelle Purvis-Andrews fought against the county taking over the system. While on the other hand, LGC couldn't see to many ways around it. The town allowed customers to owed up to $2,000 for back pay in water and sewer and the plan that was in place to collect the money was not working. Another problem included repairs that the town could not afford.

"The LGC has been a great supporter in operating the system," the report states. "They have been beneficial in repairing several lift stations and getting them back to operating order. They have also been key in helping with billing and collecting questions amongst other things as well."

The report was pleasing to Princeville Mayor Elect Bobbie Jones who attended the county's Monday meeting. He applauded the board for their efforts.  

"I want to thank the board and Edgecombe County for what they've done for the Town of Princeville in the past, what they currently dong and what I hope they will continue to do."

Wiggins responded, "We will continue to support your efforts. When you take office if there is anything that we can do to help you have a smooth transition and help the people of Princeville. We have always did that and we will continue to do it."