Board okays water line work for Fibrowatt


First Posted: 1/26/2009

Mondee Tilley
Staff Reporter

DOBSON Surry County Water and Sewer projects manager Jack Gardin got approval for a request to go ahead with design plans to extend water lines to a site near Elkin where Fibrowatt has proposed building a plant. Gardin is hoping for federal stimulus money to help pay for the project.
Gardin presented the board with a letter from consulting engineers Hobbs, Upchurch & Associates at Monday nights meeting. Gardin urged the board to let him go ahead with the design phase of the proposed water-line extension so that we will be ready when the economic stimulus package comes from the federal government, Gardin said.
In response to your query about the possibility for Surry County obtaining funding for the water main extension to serve Fibrowatt through the upcoming economic stimulus package for public utilities. The subject project consists of approximately 13,000 feet of 12-inch PVC water main extended from an existing water line owned by Elkin to the proposed Fibrowatt site, said a letter from Adam Kiker of Hobbs, Upchurch & Associates.
The letter goes on to state, Although none of the rules for obtaining federal dollars through the economic stimulus package have been set in stone, as the new administration gets closer to taking office each state agency has confirmed certain aspects of how their funds can be obtained. All of the funding agencies involved are focused on one thing: having a project shovel-ready within roughly six months of when the bill passes at the federal level.
Gardin said that the North Carolina Public Water Supply Section (PWS) is currently accepting applications for projects that can be ready for construction within six months of federal enactment of the economic recovery funds. The funds provided through PWS will be 0-percent interest for a 20-year term and applications are due by Feb. 20.
According to a preliminary estimate, the 12-inch water main to serve Fibrowatt will cost $953,200.
The board agreed unanimously to have Gardin proceed with the design phase of the project.
Fibrowatt, based out of the United Kingdom, generates renewable energy from poultry litter, announced in June of 2008 that it had chosen a site near Elkin to build a biomass-fueled power plant. The Fibrowatt plant is expected to contribute at least $10 million annually to the local economy through fuel purchases and transportation, employee payroll and facility maintenance costs.
Contact Mondee Tilley at [email protected] or at 719-1930.

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