Town staff has asked GlaxoSmithKline for three-quarters of an acre on the southern edge of its land to help with a stormwater drainage improvement project in the Yates Place neighborhood.
Whether Zebulon will have to buy the land or have it essentially donated as an easement for the project remains unresolved. Town Manager Rick Hardin said he hopes to have an answer to that question within the next 30 days.
“(Glaxo representatives) seem very receptive and open to work with us,” Hardin said Friday. He and Zebulon Public Works Director Chris Ray met with GSK officials on July 18 to discuss the town’s proposal.
“We left the door open as to whether we acquire (the land) straight out by title or attain an easement to do the improvements to the property and them still retain ownership, but that has yet to be decided,” said Hardin.
Mary Anne Rhyne, GSK’s communications director, offered little insight on the direction the arrangement is headed.
“The Town of Zebulon requested an easement to reclaim storm water on GSK Zebulon’s property,” Rhyne said in an email. “GSK Zebulon supports this effort and looks forward to assisting the community on this endeavor.”
The town wants to construct a dry detention pond to help with flooding on the low end of Yates Place, which backs up to the property the town is trying to acquire.
The road has issues with water not draining efficiently enough in the cul de sac at the lower end, resulting in flooding for some residents in that area and standing water down the roadway during persistent rains.
“Basically (a dry detention pond) takes the surge of the water flow and holds it for a short period of time and dissipates it,” Ray said. “The goal is within 48-to-72 hours it is dry again. It’s a temporary holding spot for the water to allow it to flow out evenly over time.”
Zebulon is working on the first of two phases to improve the water flow as a capital project for the current year. The cost of construction for that first phase, not including land acquisition, is budgeted at $176,000.
“We always prefer if we can acquire something at no cost, but sometimes it doesn’t work out that way,” Hardin said.
The town intends to have the first phase of the project completed by the end of next June.