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New Hill settles complaint over planned sewage plant

Posted January 28, 2011

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— Residents in the southwestern Wake County crossroads of New Hill have settled their lawsuit over a planned sewage plant in the community, officials said Friday.

Western Wake Partners, which includes Cary, Apex, Morrisville and part of Research Triangle Park, wants to build a $327 million wastewater treatment plant on more than 230 acres in New Hill. The plant would sit between U.S. Highway 1, Old U.S. 1, Shearon Harris Road and New Hill-Holleman Road.

The four towns pull water from Jordan Lake, and state officials have said wastewater needs to be returned to the Cape Fear River basin and should no longer be discharged into the Neuse River basin.

Environmental regulators have said the inter-basin transfers had to end by this month, but construction hasn't even started on the plant.

New Hill residents have fought the plan for years through public hearings and in the courts. Last fall, the New Hill Community Association contested a permit issued by the state Division of Water Quality, seeking an independent review of the situation.

Association members have maintained that New Hill was targeted for the sewage plant because its residents are mostly poor and black. Officials in Cary, the leading member of Western Wake Partners, have denied the allegation, saying New Hill was the best of more than 30 sites they reviewed.

The Southern Coalition for Social Justice, which represented the community in the dispute, said Friday that the litigation has been settled.

Under the settlement, Western Wake Partners has agreed to finance construction of a $500,000 community center in New Hill, connect the center to the treatment plant for free and build to bus stops for local children.

The partnership previously agreed to to pay for water and sewer hook-ups for residents living near the plant.

"During the course of our efforts, our community has come together as never before, with neighbors becoming friends,” Rev. James Clanton, pastor of First Baptist Church New Hill and secretary of the community association, said in a statement. "These efforts will help mitigate impacts to our community."

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  • Vietnam Vet Jan 28, 2011

    Why do folks jump to the conclusion that JUST because the area is predominately poor and black and THAT was the reasoning for locating the new plant in that area, when in reality many more locations were considered. I'm so tired of the "poor little me" mentality.

  • CrewMax Jan 28, 2011

    I bet that toilet doesn't get removed from that yard.

  • CrewMax Jan 28, 2011

    No they'll have a place to play pool for about three months until the felt is ripped and the tables unlevel. Th would have been better off with free housedhold hook-up.

  • Jim Britt Jan 28, 2011

    I guess getting a community center is better than just getting to smell Western Wake Partners' poo.

  • RM24 Jan 28, 2011

    I am confused. Can someone help? How does building the Community Center alleviate the problems the residents believed the sewage plant would bring?

    ANSWER: It helps none. However the objective was to get something for free. So it worked like a charm.

  • imsirius Jan 28, 2011

    It sounds like building the plant at this location was a foregone conclusion. If that's the case then the residents were just getting something for their troubles. I guess it could be considered a small victory.

  • too-obvious Jan 28, 2011

    race factored in once more. good job on the community center

  • citizensoldier16 Jan 28, 2011

    Three key phrases in this story absolutely cry BS:

    1) CARY
    2) Southern Association for Social Justice
    3) Reverend James Clanton

    I'd be willing to bet that NONE of the above know anything about public works, waste water treatment, or environmental impacts.

  • EverythingTicksMeOff Jan 28, 2011

    imsirius, exactly. Sounds like the residents were just putting the squeeze on someone they thought had some deep pockets.

  • imsirius Jan 28, 2011

    I am confused. Can someone help? How does building the Community Center alleviate the problems the residents believed the sewage plant would bring?

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