April 12, 2016

MEMO TO:           Mayor Barber and Board of Commissioners

FROM:                  Frank A. Rush, Jr., Town Manager

SUBJECT:           New Osprey Ridge Storm Water Pump

The Board of Commissioners is scheduled to consider three items associated with the future construction of a new storm water pump station to serve the Osprey Ridge neighborhood at the April 12 meeting.  The Board will consider a resolution authorizing a design services contract with Moffatt & Nichol Engineers, Raleigh, NC, in the amount of $24,888, and will also consider a General Fund budget amendment and capital project ordinance for the project.

Resolution Authorizing Design Services Contract with Moffatt & Nichol Engineers

The attached resolution formally authorizes a design services contract in the amount of $24,888 for this project.  Of this contract amount, a total of $4,500 is allocated for detailed surveying expenses to be performed by Bell and Phillips Surveying, Cedar Point, NC. 

This project was discussed in detail at the Board’s February 19 budget workshop meeting, and the Board identified this project as its top budget priority for FY 16-17.  Although the FY 16-17 Recommended Budget will not be finalized until May and the budget will not be adopted until June, I am optimistic that sufficient funds can be identified in the FY 16-17 budget for the construction of the new storm water pump station (estimated cost of $120,000 +/-).  The intent of the attached resolution is to begin design services this spring, and then be in a position to solicit construction bids in August so that construction can begin in September (after the peak summer season), rather than waiting until after the start of FY 16-17 to begin the design process, which would likely delay the construction of the pump station until late 2016 or early 2017.  In the unlikely event that construction funding is not included in the FY 16-17 budget, the design work will still have value for the Town when the pump station is ultimately constructed.

As you know, there have been several instances of significant street flooding (12 inches or more deep) on Osprey Ridge Drive near the cul-de-sac and adjacent storm water canal.  This problem was observed in 2009 during numerous heavy rainfall events over a 6-week period, and has occurred a few more times since 2009, with 3 recent incidents in late 2015 and early 2016 (also a period of numerous heavy rainfall events).  The flooding is primarily a nuisance to residents in this area, however, it has impacted the functionality of the septic system for at least one home directly adjacent to the canal and has entered the ground floor area of the home (in 2009).  The Town’s Public Works Department now routinely deploys multiple portable pumps to this area during and after heavy rainfall events, and these pumps are relatively effective at resolving flooding problems after the rainfall event has ended.  In most cases, the portable pumps can clear the road within a day or two, however, standing water often remains in the canal and ditches for much longer.

This area is part of an overall drainage route that ultimately flows north from the canal to three large ponds between Osprey Ridge and Bogue Sound, and ultimately discharges to Bogue Sound near NC 58.  A contributing factor to the flooding problem in this area is the existence of only a small 12” drainage pipe (underneath Daisy Court) leading from the canal to the largest pond north of Osprey Ridge, and during significant rainfall events the volume of water is simply too large for the small pipe, causing backups into the Osprey Ridge Drive cul-de-sac area.  Additionally, during prolonged periods with significant rainfall, the water table becomes elevated in this area, and thus reduces storage capacity in the ground.  Because of the water table issues, the significant neighborhood disruption that would occur to replace and enlarge the existing 12” drainage pipe under Daisy Court, and because of the success the Town has experienced with other fixed storm water pump stations in the Coast Guard Road area, the construction of a new pump station to serve Osprey Ridge has been identified as the best overall solution for the storm water flooding issues in this area.   

As discussed at the February 19 meeting, we plan to construct the new fixed storm water pump in Emerald Isle Woods Park (directly adjacent to Osprey Ridge and connected hydrologically to the Osprey Ridge canal), and discharge the storm water into the Town’s overall storm water system in Emerald Isle Woods Park.  The attached aerial photo map  indicates the most likely pump station location, and its location relative to Osprey Ridge.  As noted, we anticipate some minor excavation to provide a better connection from the existing canal to the planned pump station location.  The new pump would be submerged, and would operate automatically by a float system, similar to the Town’s existing fixed storm water pumps in other neighborhoods along Coast Guard Road.  As we progress further into detailed design, there is some possibility that the new pump station could be located closer to the canal and homes on Daisy Court, however, we are optimistic that the ultimate location will be as depicted on the attached aerial photo map.

If the Board approves the attached resolution, our goal is to present a construction contract recommendation to the Board at the September 13 meeting, and begin construction soon thereafter.  I am hopeful that the new pump may be operational by November / December 2016, which is in the middle of the high rainfall season for Emerald Isle.  Based on our experience with portable pumps in this area, and our experience with other fixed pump stations in the Coast Guard Road area, I believe the new Osprey Ridge pump will be an effective solution to the storm water flooding concerns in this area.

The Board should note that the attached resolution does not include significant bid process and  construction administration services, and there may be some minor additional cost for these services at a later date.  Because the projected construction cost is less than $500,000, the Town intends to use the informal bidding process outlined in the NC General Statutes, and expects to invite only (multiple) local contractors to bid who have completed similar projects (successfully) for the Town in the past.  As such, I am hopeful that we can minimize the bid process and construction administration costs without sacrificing construction quality.

Budget Amendment – General Fund

The attached General Fund budget amendment formally appropriates a total of $25,000 of additional anticipated electricity sales tax revenues for this design contract to the FY 15-16 General Fund budget.  These funds would then be transferred to a multi-year capital project (ordinance) account. 

Electricity sales tax revenues continue to exceed the Town’s original revenue estimate, and we are now on track to bring in nearly $500,000 for the entire FY 15-16.  The FY 15-16 General Fund budget, prior to the April 12 meeting, relies on $409,514.  Budgeted electricity sales tax revenues will increase to $429,732 if a separate General Fund budget amendment on the April 12 meeting agenda is approved, and will increase to $455,732 if the Board approves the attached General Fund budget amendment for this design contract.

Capital Project Ordinance

The attached capital project ordinance is procedural in nature, and simply establishes a multi-year project budget for the new Osprey Ridge storm water pump station.  The attached capital project ordinance formally appropriates the $25,000 transfer from the General Fund for the design contract.  A future capital project ordinance amendment will appropriate funds for the construction of the new storm water pump station.

I look forward to discussing this issue with the Board at the April 12 meeting.