Town applies for special order of consent

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An application from the town of Mount Olive to state authorities seeking a Special Order of Consent for additional sewer service was submitted to authorities last week.

The application asks State Water Quality Control authorities to allow the town to provide limited sewer services for residential and commercial development until a current moratorium on the town’s local system can be lifted.

The moratorium directed several years ago by the state put a halt to any development due to issues with the town’s wastewater treatment plant.

However, a recent $5.5 million dollar appropriation from the state set in motion needed plant repairs.

The request to the state, said Town Manager Charles Brown, asks “emergency flow so we can accommodate housing or industry issues.”

He said the request asks for the flow to accommodate any development that currently has been stagnant.

A major issue still in the gray zone is hopes from a Jacksonville developer to build a 72-unit housing complex north of town.

The consent order approval would give the town the OK to give to the developer the go-ahead for the project.

That project alone will require at least 80,000 gallons of sewer flow per day, but town officials said without the Special Order of Consent they cannot ensure such service.

“I am confident we will have the moratorium lifted and have the needed sewer flow by the time the developer begins the apartment project, but until the SOC is approved I cannot ensure him that,” Brown said.

The town manager did say he has been assured by state authorities the request for the consent order will move quickly through red tape.

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