Infamous sewer line will be disconnected

Published 3:37 pm Sunday, December 21, 2008

POWELLSVILLE – The Bertie County School district will wait 30 days before disconnecting a residential sewer line hooked to the C.G. White More at Four and Pre-School wastewater system.

At their November 18 meeting, the Bertie County Board of Education voted unanimously to disconnect the sewer line that runs from rental property owned by former Superintendent John F. Smith Sr. to the school. The line was originally connected to what was then the C.G. White Elementary School in 2002.

An investigation about how the line came to be there in the first place has resulted in the school district turning over a report to local authorities. Bertie County Sheriff Greg Atkins has opened an investigation to see if the line was put there illegally and if Smith used school system personnel to do private work for him while being paid by Bertie County Schools.

On Wednesday morning, local officials met at C.G. White to discuss what steps were necessary to disconnect the mobile home from the sewer system.

“We met with representatives of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and they suggested that since someone was living in the home we should give them appropriate notice before disconnecting,” said Dr. Chip Zullinger, Superintendent of Bertie County Schools.

The superintendent said he has spoken with several members of the school board who had been involved with the decision to disconnect the home and a choice had been made to give 30 days notice before the disconnection.

“The (current) resident (of the home) is one of the people we will give notice to and probably the owner as well,” Dr. Zullinger said. “We expect to do that this week.”

The lot on which the home sets was deemed unsuitable for a ground absorption sewage system because of soil characteristics and soil wetness condition when inspected in February of 2002. The lot was owned by Smith at that time.