Proposed drinking water facility in Newberry is not projected to increase rates
BY AMBER THIBODAUX
NEWBERRY, Fla. – The Newberry City Commission adopted Resolution 2023-29 at its commission meeting on Monday, allowing for the construction of a new drinking water facility to meet current demand and in preparation for future city growth and development. The plan includes the addition of one elevated 500,000-gallon water storage tank. Currently, the city has two water tanks, one with a capacity of 150,000 gallons and the other at 300,000 gallons. The new tank would have the ability to handle a 4 percent increase in year-over-year population growth over its 20-year life cycle, meaning it could serve double the current population of Newberry for the next 20 years.
According to a report presented to the board by Justin deMello, project manager and engineer at Woodard and Curran, the cost of the project is estimated at $5,750,000. The City has filed for a grant with the Federal Department of Environmental Protection, in hopes of funding a portion of the project through the State Revolving Fund (SRF) loan program. There is no estimated utility rate increase anticipated for Newberry residents, based on the “evaluation of the existing customer rates and a principal forgiveness and low-interest loan option.”
deMello told the board that in order for the City to meet the maximum daily water demand, as well as future needs and fire flow, it would need another 500,000 gallons of water, mainly for “redundancy in the system.” Redundancy would allow the new system to undergo maintenance without disruptions in water service.
“Right now your largest elevated storage tank, 300,000 gallons, cannot be taken down out of service for maintenance without significant impacts on your water systems – so having redundancy is a critical part of this evaluation,” deMello explained.
He then pointed out the rapid growth happening in Newberry and added, “It’s important to have that fire flow protection in case something happens, or in the event you want to provide proactive maintenance of your equipment.”
The evaluation also took into account any environmental impacts the new facility may have and found “no known permanent negative impacts” associated with adding an elevated storage tank within the city.
The loan application submittal and design phase of the project is set to begin in August of this year, with construction beginning in the spring of 2024 and continuing into 2025. The project is anticipated for completion in 2026.
According to Jamie Jones, the Assistant City Manager for Utilities and Public Works in Newberry, the proposed location for the water tank is south of SR 26 and east of Newberry.
“The initial site is located south of the nursery, but that’s all pending Geotech – the Geotech is underway now. Once we determine the most suitable Geotechnical location to construct the tank, foundation-wise, then we will nail the site down,” Jones told the board.
He then clarified that the tank will be located somewhere on the Tanglewood Property: “That development has to provide a site as part of a development order condition. We are currently doing Geotech at one location there. Should it prove unsuitable, we would look at alternate sites within the Tanglewood development.”
The Tanglewood Development is a proposed development on approximately 220 acres, located south of West Newberry Road/SR 26 and west of SW 202nd Street.
The motion to adopt the resolution passed unanimously with no public comment.
Every time I read anything about the Gainesville City Commission it makes me so glad I live in the County and not Gainesville.
Newberry can’t be growing that fast.
The politics just don’t fit for the progressive liberals and their, “we have to move to a safer, more common sense community” than the one we live in. Add in an evil meat processing facility and why would anyone move to Newberry?
Gainesville proper must be worse than the backside of a mule. Maybe a wall is needed, not to keep people out – it’s to protect those who are within. In this case, protections from failing progressive policies, high taxes and lack of sensible leadership. They wanted it, they elected it, they voted for it…live with it and deal with it.
The locusts need to stay where they are.