Johnston County, JD Solomon Inc, and B&V Begin Regionalization Assessment
On Tuesday, January 18, 2022, the Johnston County Board of Commissioners approved the contract to evaluate long-term water & sewer regionalization options for 11 towns and 2 private utilities. Johnston County selected JD Solomon Inc in the fall of 2021 to lead the regionalization assessment effort. Engineering firm Black & Veatch was selected on Tuesday to evaluate the integrated infrastructure needs and limitations.
Regionalization can take many forms ranging from shared administrative service and emergency interconnections on one end of the spectrum to full mergers and consolidations on the other end. Subsequent phases of the regionalization assessment will include financial, legal, human resources, and environmental aspects for the viable options indicated in the first phase.
Johnston County’s effort is the most comprehensive water and sewer regionalization effort in the Research Triangle region since Wake County performed a similar assessment nearly 25 years ago. Wake County’s effort resulted in over a decade of activities ranging from inter-local partnerships to full utility mergers. The regionalization effort continues to win quiet praise for maintaining the county’s quality of life.
Johnston County, which also operates a water & sewer utility, is performing the regionalization assessment with financial resources from its General Fund and an outside resource (JD Solomon, Inc) to lead the process. Once viable regional options are determined, the separate water & wastewater utilities will be expected to execute projects through their enterprise funds. Grants and loans from the State of North Carolina and the 2021 Federal infrastructure Bill are expected to provide additional project resources to support utility ratepayers.
Johnston County is located in the Research Triangle region of North Carolina. Johnston County has a population of 225,000 and continues to be one of the state's fastest-growing counties. Black & Veatch is a 100-year-old engineering firm based in Kansas City and with offices in Raleigh and Charlotte. JD Solomon Inc has offices in North and South Carolina that provide program development, asset management, and facilitation services in eight states.