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The city of Simpsonville will pursue a state-supported community block grant to underwrite expansion of water and sewer systems required to accommodate the outlet malls planned to be built south of Interstate 64.
The city and West Shelby Water, which serves the area, recently submitted Requests for Qualifications for an engineer to coordinate the grant project, and at Wednesday’s meeting, commissioners approved the selection of Derrick Engineering, a firm used in previous city projects.
West Shelby, which went through a similar process, chose Kenvirons Engineering to handle its grant request.
At issue is the expansion of sewer and water systems, including drilling under Interstate 64 to connect the network for the outlet malls – most principally the approved plan by Horizon Group Properties – to the main line that ends behind the Pilot Truck stop on Buck Creek Road.
“We had promised we would make sure water and sewer was available over there [south of I-64],” City Administrator David Eaton said. “To get to Horizon’s property, we need a bigger pipe for West Shelby Water.”
The block grants are appropriate, Mayor Steve Eden said, because they are designed to help with infrastructure costs for commercial development that would bring in new jobs.
Horizon has said it would employ at least 1,000, and a plan for a second mall by Trio Properties/Paragon Outlets, which was approved by the Triple S Planning Commission on Tuesday, would add about that many more on a site just east of Buck Creek Road.
In hiring Dave Derrick as the engineer, Eden, Eaton and Commissioner Cary Vowels went through a scoring process to select from five responses from the RFQ.
“We did score and accept the high score,” Eden said.
He said the last time the city worked with West Shelby Water – for which he is the manager – on pursuing a grant was to build the water tower along I-64 behind the Shelby County Flea Market.
“That benefitted the development of the commerce park, Kingbrook,” he said.
Said Eaton: “The money from the grant has to flow through the city. That’s why we do it this way.”
The commission approved on second reading annexation of a parcel adjacent to Horizon’s outlet site, responding to a request by Robert and Wanda Janes to annex .91 acres at the corner of Buck Creek Road and Veechdale Road. This is the property where the J’s Gas & Food Mart, the BP station, is located.
Matt Huelsman of Richardson, Pennington & Skinner, PSC, presented the city with a top-level audit for fiscal year 2011-12. He said the audit was a “clean, unqualified opinion, which is what you strive for, using generally accepted accounting principles.”
He cited the city’s very strong financial position, with a 5 to 1 ratio of assets to liabilities.
Said Eaton: “It all looks good.”
Also at the meeting, the commission: