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Clayton might shrink new plant’s treatment capacity

This is a rendering of the sewage-treatment plan that Clayton hopes to build with a combination of grants and borrowed dollars. Courtesy Town of Clayton

By Scott Bolejack | 919-424-1776

CLAYTON — To make the cost equal the dollars available, Clayton might reduce the capacity of its new sewage-treatment plant.

Citing a guaranteed price that was still too high, the Town Council last week severed ties with the company it hired to design and build the treatment plant.

“We could never really come to terms on the number, so we’re exercising our right under our contract to off-ramp them,” said Louis Duffie, project manager for the town.

But the company still has some design work to complete before the town can put the project out for bids. And in an agreement the two sides signed last week, the company will show how to reduce treatment capacity from 6 million to 4 million gallons daily.

Mayor Jody McLeod said the move was prudent given rising construction costs. “We are bidding out for 6 million gallons per day,” he said via email. “Depending on the bids, we may have to scale back to 4 million.”

Clayton’s current plant can treat 2.5 million gallons a day.

In all, Clayton will pay the design-build firm $21 million for the work it has already done and will soon complete. The town faces no added cost for ending the contract, McLeod said.

“No moneys were spent to get out of a contract, no penalty fees either,” he said. “We’re just paying for the work they’ve done.”