BOONE — The town of Boone will hold dedication ceremonies Sept. 6 for its new South Fork New River water intake, to be named for former Town Manager Greg Young, and its renovated water treatment plant, to be named for Public Works Director Rick Miller.
The ceremony at the intake site, located off of Cranberry Springs Road in the Brownwood area near Todd, will begin at 9 a.m., Town Manager John Ward told the Boone Town Council on Aug. 15. Participants will then travel along the route of the intake’s transmission line, along Brownwood Road and U.S. 421, to the water treatment plant in Boone for the second dedication ceremony.
The intake facility, which was permitted to withdraw up to 4 million gallons per day from the South Fork New River, has been online for the past few weeks, said Boone Public Works Deputy Director Josh Eller, with average withdrawals of 1.3 million gpd.
With the new intake contributing to the town’s water supply, the use of the town’s other two intakes on Winklers Creek and the South Fork New River in Boone “has been greatly reduced or not at all since beginning use at the new intake,” Eller said. “We plan to develop a schedule that will routinely utilize all intakes in order to keep them in proper operation; however, most of our raw water supply will come from the new intake.”
Ward said the town’s Public Works Department is planting 18 new trees at the intake site.
Construction of the $42 million project, which included the raw water intake facility, booster pump station, transmission line and water treatment plant upgrades, began on Feb. 13, 2017, and wrapped up last winter. But a software contractor then had to install the final components of software to allow the system to be monitored and operated from the Boone water plant.
Council Member Sam Furgiuele — who was involved with the project during his years as town attorney but who has opposed the project since being elected a council member in 2017 — made a motion at the Feb. 21 council meeting to name the water intake facility in honor of Young and the water treatment plant in honor Miller.
In November 2008, Boone voters approved a $25 million bond referendum for a new water source along the South Fork New River, with 73 percent in favor.
The project was funded with a 40-year, $20.5 million general obligation bond loan from the USDA, a $12 million revenue bond loan from the USDA, a $1.8 million grant from the USDA and by the town’s water and sewer fund. Ward said Aug. 15 that the town was able to utilize $1.6 million of the $1.8 million USDA grant funds available for the project. Grant funds could not be utilized until all other funds had been expended for the project.