Milton review committee discusses Granary utilities

Next meeting set for Aug. 25 to evaluate public safety
August 20, 2021

Milton’s Special Review Committee held its second meeting Aug. 12 regarding a proposed annexation of 400-plus acres to be developed into a 1,350-unit residential development to be called The Granary at Draper Farm.

Compared to the committee’s first meeting, which was an overview of the project by developer Convergence Communities and its founder, Colby Cox, this second meeting was much briefer, with a primary focus on utilities.

The committee featured questions for providers of electricity, water and wastewater, followed by questions from the audience.

First up was Tony Rutherford, manager of engineering for Delaware Electric Cooperative, who said the company has facilities already in place that can serve the development. He said the main line runs on the west side of the proposed development, with a smaller service line that runs along the north side. Rutherford said based on what is being proposed, he doesn’t anticipate any new infrastructure needed, as the co-op has several substations in place that can serve the area. 

Water to the Granary would be provided by the town, and Public Works Supervisor Greg Wingo said he anticipates the need for drilling a new well or two and adding a new water tower in the near future. Town officials have previously discussed putting in new water infrastructure, including a new water tower, on land the town owns next to the Rails to Trails on Federal Street.  

Bruce Patrick, representing wastewater provider Tidewater Environmental Services, said the company has enough capacity right now to treat wastewater from the Granary and will have even more capacity once a new plant is built on Sam Lucas Road. 

Patrick said Tidewater is close to breaking ground on the new plant, with construction bids to be awarded in the next month. Final site plans were approved by the town’s planning and zoning commission in April. Patrick said Tidewater is on track to begin construction later this year, with a 15-month build-out and completion in late 2022. The new plant would be able to treat 350,000 gallons of wastewater per day; Patrick said currently, Tidewater takes in 185,0000 gallons per day at the existing plant on Front Street. 

Committee Chair John Collier asked Patrick about whether any new pump stations would be required to serve the Granary development. Patrick said Tidewater has a manhole on the south end of Federal Street that could be tied in, but it would likely necessitate a new pumping station on-site at the development. He said Tidewater is willing to work with the developer to find the best course of action. 

The committee then took questions from the audience related to the topic of utilities.

William Kirk, a resident of adjacent Bangor Lane, asked whether there had been consideration of natural gas as an energy source. Collier said the developer has shown interest in natural gas but whether it will be used at the Granary remains to be seen.

Jeff Seemans, 41 Chestnut St., asked whether the town will incur any upfront costs for water service to the development. Collier said the town is conducting a cost-benefit analysis to project whatever system improvements may need to be made.

The committee’s next meeting will be on the topic of public safety, including comments from the town’s police and fire officials. The meeting will start at 2 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 25, at Milton library.

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