City to upgrade how old utility load managed

LAURINBURG — It appears that Laurinburg has found a company to help with its load management system upgrade.

City officials said on Tuesday that they plan to accept a proposal from Nexigrid to update the aging elctrical system.

The city learned last year that its 30-year-old load management hardware and software was obsolete and cannot be supported in the present configuration.

“The technology is certainly not being abandoned,” said Alan Cobbs with Progressive Engineering. “I’m surprised we lasted 30 years.”

Cobbs said after soliciting proposals for the past few months, the city got bids from Nexgrid and Tantalus.

City Manager Charles Nichols said Nexigrid system offered the lowest first cost as well as lower annual fees. Nexgrid will charge $564,600 total along with a $4,3000 annual fee. The Tantalus bid came in at $576,148 with an annual fee of $42,000.

Nichols said the new system would be installed over the next two budget years.

Load management is a process to reduce electric loads to achieve monthly savings. Officials said the change could help reduce the city’s wholesale costs by about $200,000 a years. Those saving could be passed on to utility customers.

In other business, the Laurinburg City Council voted to take part in the “On the Road with Cecil” television series that promotes Laurinburg and Scotland County. The city would pay $5,200 for the series to be shown over 13 weeks in the spring.

Chris English, executive director of the Laurinburg Scotland County Chamber of Commerce, said the series has been a great way to attract visitors to the area and that each episode is seen by at least 85,000 viewer.

The chamber also plans to seek sponsorships from the school system, county and Scotland Memorial Hospital.

Nichols also updated the council on an effort to acquire a lot to use as a recycling collection site. The property is at the corner of Everett and West Cronly streets and is owned by Richmond Community College. The city already owns property close to the site

The city’s recycling drop-off behind City Hall closed last month as part of work on the $9.1 million municipal complex that required shutting down access to a large portion of that site.

The new City Hall-police department project is expected to be completed in late December 2018 to early January 2019.

In other business, the council also set a public hearing for Feb. 20 on a request to rezone a 29-acre parcel of land at 13251 Johns Road from residential to office/institutional.

The purpose of the rezoning is to allow for wider variety of uses for the parcel, officials said. Surrounding properties are also rezoned office/institutional.

Bryan Graham, Scotland county Parks and Recreation director also spoke to council.

Graham , who was named director in 2016, said he wanted to formally introduce himself to city leaders. The new director comes to Scotland County from Pembroke where he served as director of Parks and Recreation there since October 2008. He replaced Shannon Newton, who retired in March after serving as Scotland director for 16 years.


Scott Witten




Reach Scott Witten at 910-506-3023