Williamson residents may have seen the waterline replacement near the school bus garage.  The project is being completed by the town water crew. It is replacing the current line with a new 12” line from Pound Road to Congdon Road.  It has been scheduled for a few years, but other projects took priority.  The 12” line will be placed on the south side of Ridge Road and is expected to be completed this summer.  Once completed, services to residents will be installed.  After that project is completed, the crew will start from Pound Road to Locust Street with a 16” pipe.  The 16” pipe supports the new Regional Water Tank project.  It will be installed on the north side of Ridge Road and completed this fall.  One would ask why you can’t place both pipes in the same trench.  Actually, there is not enough room within the right-of-way with the other infrastructure that is already there.

The fresh-water plant upgrades are continuing.  As I write this article the fluoride room is being completed.  The fluoride room is an area that houses equipment that injects fluoride into the drinking water.  The new room/equipment allows operators to inject the material more effectively and safely.  Williamson received a grant of over $505,540 for the room/equipment. The total cost has been estimated at approximately $733,300.

The Town Lodge expansion is nearing completion.  The cabinets and countertops are being installed.  We are planning a grand opening sometime this summer after it is complete and circumstances allow for it.

The town and county will be starting their budget process in July.  There has been much discussion about the budgets as sales tax revenue is down considerably in the last few months.  The good news is the town and county have adequate reserve funding to withstand short term economic down turns, like the drop in sales tax.  During the budget planning for 2021, we will be reviewing all expenses and resources to make the necessary adjustments to withstand a sustained drop in sale tax revenue.  The town estimates we will receive $575,400 in sales tax revenue from the county for the 2020 budget year, approximately 34% of the town’s general fund budget.  If the trend of reduced sales tax continues, it could be a loss of approximately $110,000 (approximately 7%) of general fund.  We will continue to monitor the trend and do everything to reduce the 2021 budget.

I encourage everyone to complete the U.S. Census.  It is very quick and easy at www.2020census.gov.  The town has to use the most current census data when we apply for state and federal Grants.  This specific reason is why it’s important to complete the census.  The town has received approximately 5 million dollars in grants in the last few years using the census data to support our grants.

Road work continues.  Each year the town budgets approximately $550,000 for town maintenance.  Most of the roads in town are on a 5-year schedule to be resurfaced.  There are different processes that can be used to resurface depending on wear and tear, volume, and current road conditions.