The new year could be a busy one for the county seat.
That’s because completion of a new well, road improvements and a start to construction on a new public safety complex are among the items on Pembroke’s agenda in 2019. Also on the schedule are more affordable housing for families and seniors and work on improving the city’s drainage through maintenance of about 20 miles of canals, according to City Administrator Alex Floyd.
To top it off, the city’s 35 employees received a $1 an hour raise beginning in January. Some also will get merit raises of between 1.5 and 3 percent, based on evaluations.
The city recently finished about $200,000 worth of work on Ash Branch and Mason roads, and plans are to spend $60,000 to resurface Benton Street, Ann Street, West Gibson Street and West Dubois, using a similar combination of state and local transportation sales tax funds.
The new well just over the Bryan County border in Bulloch County will nearly double Pembroke’s water capacity from 200,000 gallons per day to 400,000. The $1.1 million project, most of which came from a $950,000 USDA loan, is expected to be finished in March.
The city’s new public safety complex, which will sit on city owned land near the old Bryan County Elementary School, will take roughly two years and cost about $6.6 million, Floyd said.
“We’re about to advertise for a construction management firm,” he said. “We have a set of plans, it’s permitted and we own the property, so we’re all set to go.”
Also on the radar are four new single family homes after a $612,000 grant from the Department of Community Affairs allowed the city to acquire land for the homes, which will be near Highway 119. And, National Church Residences will start work to convert the old Bryan County Elementary School to a senior affordable housing complex, with 55 one-bedroom and 15 two-bedroom units for those 55 and older, with a wellness center, library, community space, laundry and community garden.
The city’s also beginning work in conjunction with Bryan County on clearing canals throughout the city, while also working on right of way to make sure the canals stay maintained, Floyd said.
“Some of them have two or three hurricanes worth of debris in the bottom,” he said. “So one of our big goals is getting these canals cleaned up.”
The city’s also applied for a state grant to help clean up the sewage system, and Floyd said the city’s community swimming pool is also in need of work, though that may have to wait.