The Greensboro City Council held its first work session on the Summerfield Farms Village proposal, Tuesday, Jan. 19, although Summerfield Farms Village is not on the agenda and was never mentioned.
On the agenda, the item is “Water Resources Update,” which sounds really mundane. But a portion of that report was on water and wastewater treatment capacity.
Summerfield Farms Village is a proposal by developer David Couch, who wants to develop hundreds of acres he owns in Summerfield as a mixed-use development. For the plan to work, Couch needs to convince Greensboro to pipe water north of the lakes to Summerfield and pipe the wastewater or sewage back to Greensboro. It would require Greensboro, Summerfield and Guilford County to all agree on the plan, but water and sewer from Greensboro is key.
At the work session, Water Resources Director Mike Borchers said that the state requires cities to come up with a plan when the average daily usage is 80 percent of the safe yield, and at 90 percent of safe yield the city is required to have the new water supplies online.
Greensboro is currently at 75.2 percent of its safe yield for water, which is getting close to when the state mandated planning starts. Borchers said his department had already begun talks with the Piedmont Regional Water Authority on increasing the yield from the Randleman Regional Reservoir.
The Piedmont Triad Regional Water Authority is made up of Greensboro, High Point, Jamestown, Randleman, Archdale and Randolph County, and getting representatives of six governments to agree on anything is a challenge.
Along with the safe yield at 75.2 percent, Borchers noted that some of the future water supply had already been allocated for projects. The Greensboro-Randolph Megasite is allocated 1.5 million gallons a day (MGD), future infill growth 2-4 MGD, Airport Area growth 1-2 MGD, Reedy Fork Growth 1-1.5 MGD and Eastern Area Growth and Economic Development 2-4 MGD.
The only item on the list for possible future growth is listed as “North of the Lakes 2-5.5 MGD.”
There is only one project north of the lakes under consideration and that is Summerfield Farms Village.
Mayor Nancy Vaughan said, “I think we are going to be talking about capacity a lot in the next few months.”
Vaughan also noted that the megasite would need more than 1.5 MGD with all the supply chain businesses that it was expected to attract.
Borchers said the city had more “cushion” on wastewater because the expansion of the T.Z. Osborne treatment plant puts the city at 63.4 percent of capacity for wastewater treatment.