City wastewater may go green


During their meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 14, the City Council heard a presentation from Wilburn Smith, a representative for Dale Shope Construction.

Smith discussed a solar power project for the city’s Wastewater Treatment Plant. According to Smith, the proposed solar farm would help operate the plant. The city would not have to put any money down for the project, and the lease term would be 25 years. Payment for the rental of the panels would be taken out of the city’s savings on electricity.

Smith said Dale Shope Construction engineers estimated the plant would need about 5,000 panels to operate. The company would furnish the panels and the insurance for them without having to charge the city any money up front. Dale Shope Construction would also be responsible for operation and maintenance of the panels.

The panels each have a ten-year warranty that is guaranteed, due to them being stationary parts. However, if anything were to go wrong, Smith stated the city and Dale Shope Construction would be able to monitor the system at all times via satellite; this way, he said, they would see any issues immediately.

Following the presentation, many council members stated they liked the idea. Councilman Billy Jackson mentioned that completing this project may also ensure the city’s eligibility for specific grants for going green. The council told Smith that numbers needed to be assessed, and they would reach out to him before the next meeting.