CLIFFSIDE—After years of kicking the expensive Cliffside wastewater treatment plant can down the road, there is relief in sight for the community’s residents. Rutherford County Commissioners at their Dec. monthly meeting on Monday agreed to a $100,000 contract with the engineering firm W.K. Dickson to determine the options.
In August 2017 the County Commissioners accepted a grant offer of $50,000 from the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (NCDEQ). N.C. Department of Commerce also funded this project with a grant. While the county has provided financial assistance to the district several times over the past ten years, former commissioners have repeatedly kicked the can down the road for the issue to be addressed and resolved.
Cliffside Sanitary District has been the “red-headed stepchild” among the municipalities in Rutherford County and nearby towns. Some towns, such as Forest City or Boiling Springs, have already stated that they do not have any interest in connecting to the Cliffside facilities.
Cliffside is a small community with a very large industrial wastewater treatment plant that in the textile mills heyday served three large Cone Mills textile factories and residents in the mill community. Since the closure of the last mill in 2005 and the loss of its financial support, the district has experienced challenging financial and operational conditions.
As Brian Tripp of W.K. Dickson engineering stated the Cliffside problem won’t go away. The firm has previously conducted studies with several towns and is familiar with many of the county’s wastewater systems. W. K. Dickson will conduct comprehensive testing and data analysis to make recommendations.