Dobson gets grants to further economic development in 2010

First Posted: 12/29/2009

DOBSON With a new year on the horizon, Paul Hensch, the acting town manager with All-American Associates, is excited about the new projects the town will be undertaking in 2010.
The town has entered into a water agreement with the county. This is great economic news and we are excited about that. Another project that we have going on is the completion of Mount Airy Interconnect project. That provides the town of Dobson with an alternative source of water in case of emergency and will aide in the expansion of economic development, Hensch said.
He said the main project the commissioners are going to be working on this coming year is the construction of a new public works building at the end of Draughn Street.
Currently public works is sharing space with the Dobson Fire Department. This will free up much needed space for the town.
One of the topics among those running for office in 2009 was downtown beautification. Hensch said the town is going to make strides in that direction.
We also plan to continue working on downtown beautification, working with N.C. State (University) and the N.C. Division of Community Assistance. Through that we are going to be implementing some new projects downtown to draw more pedestrian traffic and increase economic development of the downtown area, Hensch said.
In 2010, work will begin on the Prison Camp Road sewer project that will be providing sewer lines to Hope Valley, the Surry County Animal Shelter, the Department of Transportation, the old Prison Camp, and the Childrens Center.
We are real excited about that project. That will help with the environmental protection of Fisher River, he said.
Upgrades at the towns water plant in the new year is aimed at curbing costs.
Another good thing that we are doing is upgrades to the water plant. This is to save money for the taxpayers by replacing pumps and motors, windows and the HVAC system to make the water plant more energy efficient and we expect this money to be provided by the state to do this, Hensch said.
In the upcoming year, the commissioners will be considering a rezoning measure that will help with town-wide development.
We are also working on and implementing the next couple of months a town-wide rezoning, which in conjunction with our land-use plan will help provide for organized development throughout the town, Hensch said.

Looking back on 2009
The town has reduced spending in its budget to reflect the challenging economy and to continue to keep the tax rate low, according to Hensch. A 20-year water and sewer system capital improvement plan and comprehensive water system feasibility study was adopted.
The town was awarded the Service Corps Grant in conjunction with Boonville and Cooleemee for a management advisor, who is a recent MPA graduate and who will be working with the town for two years on economic development and grant writing. The town also has installed five Welcome to Dobson signs.
Working with the N.C. Department of Transportation, the town has built sidewalks in front of the high school and the college.
Commissioner Wayne Atkins was appointed to the towns board to replace Commissioner Stan Newman. Atkins and Commissioner John Lawson won seats in the November election and Mayor Ricky Draughn was re-elected to his seat.
Sadly, Commissioner Clarence Collins passed away after serving the town as commissioner for 16 years, Hensch said.
Contact Mondee Tilley at [email protected] or at 719-1930.

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