State’s request for information strengthens consent order hope

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State authorities had promised the town of Mount Olive that its request for a wastewater treatment special order of consent would get immediate attention, but then COVID-19 surfaced and was a game-changer.

The town had asked for the consent order to be allowed to provide an additional 200,000 gallons of flow daily.

Currently, the town is under a moratorium and is not allowed to provide additional sewer service for any kind of development.

The special order of consent would allow the additional flow that had been sought by a Jacksonville developer who planned to build a 72-unit apartment complex in Mount Olive.

Town Manager Charles Brown said the town’s engineering firm relayed a request for more information on Mount Olive’s current sewer service from the state office.

That indicates they are at least reviewing the request again, Brown said.

“We provided the needed information to our engineer that same day, and I am hoping that we can hear something on our SOC request within the next 30 days,” Brown said.

The developer had planned the badly needed housing complex to be built on a 12-acre tract at the intersection of North Breazeale Avenue and Northeast Church Road.

The town board of commissioners had already approved the rezoning request of the developer.

Town officials say the additional sewage flow would more than meet the developer’s needs for the complex.

Town officials have been working for several years in an attempt to attract affordable housing to Mount Olive, and have listed it as among the town’s top needs to meet anticipated growth.

The initial consent order request became bogged down in administrative red tape, and the town reapplied.

It was at that time officials told local leaders it would move quickly on the request.

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