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Bermuda Run approves stormwater analysis

By Jim Buice
For the Clemmons Courier

Like most communities, the Town of Bermuda Run finds itself taking a closer look at stormwater with the recent wave of storms.

And in last Tuesday night’s Town Council meeting, the town addressed a need by approving a proposal from Gray Engineering, in association with Jewell, LJB, to provide stormwater mapping and analysis in the Phase I project area, which consists of the original section of Bermuda Run Country Club that is served by a wastewater treatment plant specific to that area.

The proposed fee and expense basis is for a total not to exceed $55,000, and the council also moved forward to allocate those dollars from the fund balance of the Sewer Fund to the current 2020-21 Sewer Fund budget to pay for the analysis.

Town Manager Lee Rollins explained that the Utility Fund for Bermuda Run is to operate the small wastewater treatment plant at the Yadkin River that serves Bermuda Run Country Club, the Bermuda Run Club East and the Bing Crosby Boulevard area, which includes Bermuda Village and several subdivisions.

Although those residents are served by Davie County Water, their sewer is served by the Town of Bermuda Run. So a utility bill is paid to Davie County and the county then reimburses the town for the sewer charge, which is used to operate the wastewater treatment plant — meaning that the Utility Fund for sewer is only paid for by the residents in those specific areas.

“This is really a no-brainer,” councilman Mike Ernst said. “Doing this study is extremely important.”

Mayor Rick Cross agreed that this is not a solution but a meaningful first step. He added that  stormwater has to be viewed as a strategic imperative, and he praised Rollins for developing the town’s stormwater policy more than 10 years ago.

“I think this has turned out very well for our town,” Cross said. “Stormwater is critical to the development, to the growth and to the stability of our town.”

Councilman Chris Fowler, in council comments, added, “With this stormwater, I think it’s very important that we figure out what’s going on. Hopefully, it will drive some of our decisions going forward.”

In a related matter in the public comments portion of the meeting, Jim Fulghum, who lives in Kinderton Village, brought up the problem regarding flooding from the Aug. 6 storm in Phase 3A and asked how to help slow down the water with the drains being below grade and who is responsible. “Storms are occurring heavier and heavier every year,’ he said. “They’re not going away.”

Of course, there was a recent weather event in late October where high winds and heavy rainfall caused some flooding and downed trees. Then, last Wednesday and Thursday morning after the meeting, the town was swamped with another significant storm.

In a separate action item in the meeting, the council approved an amendment to the contract with Republic Services, which made a presentation in the October meeting. The contract extends solid waste pickup for three years and includes recycling collection, effective July 1, 2021.

Rollins said that Davie County has provided residents, including those in Bermuda Run, recycling at no additional charge other than paying their property taxes but has decided to get out of the recycling business. And that, coupled with some quantum shifts in the pricing of commodities, required a different way of thinking.

“We can state without question that the majority of residents in Bermuda Run would not want to give up recycling,” Rollins said. “This amendment would then allow us to contract with Republic for trash pickup and for recycling pickup, which residents would really see no change in service.”

In his mayoral comments at the conclusion of the meeting, Cross noted that the Hillsdale precinct that serves Bermuda Run had an 82.3% voter turnout, just above Davie County’s 80.1% voter turnout — while praising the county elections staff, board and poll workers for a smooth process during the recent election.

Cross also shared news that three community members — Roseanne Peacock, Sharon Reid and Christy Schafer — have spearheaded an effort for a Bermuda Run Community Christmas Tree that will be placed on the rooftop of the Wake Forest Baptist Health Davie Medical Center.

Community members will be able to purchase a light or lights in honor or memory of a loved one, co-worker or friend. More details will be provided soon.

With the coronavirus pandemic, most community celebrations have a different look this year, and Cross said that this one will be available on Facebook Live with a virtual rooftop Christmas Tree lighting scheduled for Dec. 1 at 6 p.m.