County projects in various stages of funding

First Posted: 2/28/2009

Many water and sewer projects across Surry County are in various stages of development, Jack Gardin, Water and Sewer projects manager, told commissioners at a recent retreat.
His comments came as the commissioners sorted through projects, trying to determine which ones will get funding in the upcoming budget.
The top project on Gardins list, the Tobe Hudson/Oak Grove Church Road water line, is a $1.2 million dollar project. Construction on that project began on Monday. The water line extension is just the first of many that Gardin hopes will help expand Surry Countys water districts and will help lure industry to the county.
The project will be partially funded by the N.C. Department of Commerce at $147,000 and by the Golden LEAF Foundation for $150,000. The balance of $907,000 will come from the Surry County fund balance or a loan, Gardin said. The commissioners voted in July to go ahead with the project, they voted that the remaining amount will come from the fund balance. The project is expected to be completed by June.
It has both long-term and short-term benefits. It will be bringing water to Bottomley Evergreens & Farms Inc. that also is where you will connect to the Interstates District Water Systems. The IDW system water distribution would start there at Oak Grove Church Road, which will go underneath the Interstate down to (N.C.) 89 and would go down 89 to back to Pine Ridge, Gardin said.
The Interstates Water District is a $2 million project. The N.C. Rural Center will supply $275,000 for the project. Gardin got a request from the commissioners at their retreat to submit a grant application to the N.C. PWS for the $755,000. Gardin said that property owners pledged $550,000 for water and sewer and the commissioners agreed to match those funds. Another $500,000 for the project is coming from the State and Tribal Assistance Grants (STAG), which is federally appropriated money.
If the $755,000 from the N.C. PWS is not approved, that money will have to come from the county, Gardin said.
Commissioner Hunter said that we need to work out a meeting with the property owners sometime this spring to start getting letters of commitment from them, Gardin said.
Gardin said the Oak Grove Church Grove water line taps on at Zephyr Road and Tobe Hudson Road. The water for that line is coming from the town of Dobson.
The third priority on the countys water and sewer projects list is the Interstates District Sewer Collection System, estimated to cost more than $3.4 million. The Appalachian Regional Commission is slated to pay $300,000 of that project, and the N.C. Rural Center is set to pay $275,000. An additional $2.35 million is needed from the North Carolina Division of Water Quality.
The fourth priority is a pipeline that will connect the Interstate water district to Mount Airys sewer collection system. That project has been put on hold because of lack of funding from the Golden LEAF Foundation. Gardin said that although the project had to be delayed in this round of funding, the county intends on asking for the money in 18 months when more Golden LEAF money becomes available.
The fifth project could be picked up if it is approved by the N.C. PWS, Gardin said. The project could bring water to residents on both Prison Camp and White Dirt Roads if approved. The cost of the project is $845,000.
The Forrest Oaks/Surry Acres project promises to bring water to the new elementary school in Dobson. The project is number six on the list at a cost of $1.6 million. The county is expecting to receive $526,000 in funding for that project from the N.C. Rural Center. Gardin said that project will be going out to bid on March 10.
The Fibrowatt water and sewer lines are waiting on funding approval from N.C. PWS of $960,000. Funding of $350,000 is expected to come from the Golden LEAF Foundation on March 5. The county has applied for an additional $350,000 in funding from the N.C. Rural Center to complete the entire project which is expected to cost $1.28 million. If the N.C. PWS agrees to fund the project, the county is expected to repay the funds. PWS could either come in as a 0 percent loan or a 50 percent grant and 50 percent loan with no interest.
The eighth project on the list is a town of Dobson project, Gardin said, that would connect the town to Mount Airys water supply.
But we, the county, are contributing $275,000 to that project, he said. Other funds needed for that project are expected to come from the N.C. Rural Center and the USDA Rural Development fund. The bid date for that project is March 17.
The Snowberry Lane project is slated to cost $169,000. The N.C. Rural Center is expected to provide $113,720 in funding and the local match from the county is $56,000.
The 10th item on the list is a Prison Camp Road project that involves the town of Dobson. Gardin said after the town submitted the project he brought it before the board of commissioners in December. He said town officials indicated that they might provide some local funding. But, he said, they never specified a dollar amount. That project is expected to cost $970,000 with $500,000 in funds expected to come from the N.C. Rural Center.
The Pilot Mountain Middle School sewer project is in the early stages, Gardin said.
We are looking at three possible options for funding on that, but we have sent in a letter of intent to the North Carolina Division of Water Quality for $740,300. I dont know whether that is going to be a loan on a loan/grant combination.
Contact Mondee Tilley at [email protected] or at 719-1930.

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