Sanford City Council is continuing its progress toward being a regional utility system by exploring a utility merger with the Town of Pittsboro to provide for their water and wastewater needs.
Currently, Sanford supplies water and wastewater services to other municipalities in the Central Carolina region. The City has partnered with Pittsboro, Fuquay-Varina, and Holly Springs to extend water service, and with Chatham County to provide water and wastewater services to Triangle Innovation Point, which includes Vinfast and the surrounding industries.
Sanford’s expansive infrastructure, along with its existing partnership with Pittsboro, puts the City in an ideal position to help Pittsboro meet its current water and wastewater needs – which are quickly exceeding the Town’s ability.
Sanford and Pittsboro worked with consulting firm Freese and Nichols to explore the merger. The firm identified several capital projects that will need to be completed within the next several years. These projects would be funded by Pittsboro’s rate payers.
Freese and Nichols noted many benefits for Sanford residents should the merger take place. A merged system would allow Sanford to better leverage future grant funding opportunities, create a beneficial relationship for future capital projects, and grow both economies of scale and revenue diversification. The firm identified no negative impact for Sanford’s rate payers.
Supplying water to Pittsboro could also allow Sanford to access pipelines from the Western Intake Partnership, which will treat and deliver water from Jordan Lake to member municipalities. This new interconnectivity adds more options for Sanford and Pittsboro residents in the case of a water emergency.
“The potential utility merger with Pittsboro is not only good for Sanford, but also for our entire region,” says Mayor Rebecca Salmon. “Our goal with this merger is to benefit both communities, including shoring up Sanford’s emergency access, spreading costs across long-term partners, and ultimately protecting our rate payers.”
Sanford and Pittsboro anticipate executing an agreement in August 2023, with several workshops and meetings planned over the next weeks to iron out merger details.
Pittsboro’s assets would be transferred to Sanford no later than June 30, 2024. Pittsboro’s infrastructure, meters, software, billing and accounts, customer service, and other systems will be integrated no later than that date.
To stay informed about the utility merger process, subscribe to receive meeting and workshop notices at www.sanfordnc.net/alerts.