‘Interstates’ financing moves forward


By Andy Winemiller - [email protected]



DOBSON — Commissioners took another step in pushing the Interstates sewer project to completion.

Though the project has long had the board’s approval and, in fact, should be complete by the end of July, commissioners had yet to finalize financing for the project.

At Monday’s meeting of the Surry County Board of Commissioners, board members were forced to recess as the county board and take up the business of financing as the governing board of the Interstates Water and Sewer District.

The issue at hand was final approval to borrow up to $5 million for the project’s completion, a number increased to allow the county to opt to use no N.C. Department of Commerce monies which are tied to job creation promises. The resolution permitting county staff to enter into the financing agreement with BB&T Bank had to be approved by both the county board and the district’s governing body, which are both comprised of county commissioners.

The county will make biannual payments, totaling about $600,000 per year, for the next ten years to pay off the project, which runs sanitary sewer services along N.C. 89 from the Mount Airy city limits to the I-77 and I-74 interchanges.

Commissioners also opted to accept a $4,000 offer for property located at 108 Luther Ridge Lane in Mount Airy. The county foreclosed on the property a little more than a year ago, according to Facilities Director Don Mitchell.

The lot, which is less than one acre in size, is valued at $6,000 by the tax department. What was formerly a home on the property is valued at $520.

“He’s going to make repairs,” noted Mitchell. “It won’t be livable, but he wants to use it for storage.”

Commissioners also added a suggestion from County Attorney Ed Woltz to their motion.

The bid for the property must be advertised, and anybody may make an upset bid. Under the motion approved by commissioners, whoever ends up purchasing the property will be required to foot the bill for advertising.

Mitchell also brought a renewal for the lease of the former Strickland property near Elkin to commissioners. Phillip Parks will pay $400 per year to lease the 64 acres from the county after the board approved the lease agreement.

He’s been leasing the property for about the past five years, according to Mitchell.

Commissioners also approved allowing the county schools system to use $26,000 which was leftover from a roof project at Surry Central High School for a gymnasium roof project at Copeland Elementary School.

County Manager Chris Knopf noted the Copeland roof project was in his recommended budget for the upcoming fiscal year. It may be removed from that document since the money was found in the current year’s budget.

Commissioners also approved an additional $2,775 for summer recreation program fee waivers. In the past, the $5,000 allocated had been enough. However, this year, more children were eligible for the fee waivers, which are based on household income.

The board will meet again at the government center, located at 118 Hamby Road in Dobson, on June 16 for a budget work session and on June 20 for a regular meeting.

By Andy Winemiller

[email protected]

Andy is a staff writer and may be reached at 415-4698.

Andy is a staff writer and may be reached at 415-4698.

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