DOBSON — An interlocal agreement between the town of Dobson and Surry County wasn’t ready to receive the blessing of town commissioners Thursday evening.
The Dobson Board of Commissioners opted to recess its monthly meeting until Wednesday at 6 p.m., when the board is expected to consider entering into an interlocal agreement in which it will lease the water system in the Interstates Water and Sewer District.
Town Attorney Hugh Campbell explained he and County Attorney Ed Woltz had been working together to complete the agreement. However, the final draft was awaiting the approval of County Manager Chris Knopf.
Town Manager Josh Smith told the board it was best the town enter into the agreement by June 30, indicating it would make reporting to the N.C. Department of Environmental and Natural Resources (DENR) easier if the board acted quickly.
In comments the next day, Smith said getting the water system on the town’s books by June 30 would make accounting easier on town staff, since the new fiscal year begins on July 1.
June 30 also signals the end of a reporting quarter for DENR, according to Smith. Pulling the Interstates system onto the town’s books by the beginning of July will eliminate the need to file a separate report for the Interstates system, as it will be considered part of the town’s system.
Smith noted the town has been maintaining the water system and providing water to the district since 2010, when the system was constructed. That’s one reason it was important Dobson get the business.
“It will benefit the customers,” said Smith. “They know who to call. They have been paying their bills here, and we are familiar with the system.”
Smith said once the agreement is in place, the town will see its water customer base grow by about 10 percent with the addition of the more than 100 customers in the district.
“We always want to diversify our customer base,” added Smith.
Retaining the Interstates system was also important for the infrastructure of Dobson’s entire water system, said Smith. The Pine Ridge water tank, which is part of the Interstates system, is designed to provide water in the event the town’s water tank at Shelton Vineyards goes down for maintenance.
Smith said without the Pine Ridge tank the town would have been forced to construct another water tank or install booster pumps to pump water from the town’s Spoon Street tank.
Everything is in line to meet the July 1 proposed deadline, according to officials.
The Dobson board is already scheduled to reconvene on Wednesday to consider approval of the agreement. However, Dobson officials had expressed concern the Surry County Board of Commissioners might have to call a special meeting to offer its approval of agreement and move the transfer forward.
Woltz said his understanding of the motion passed by county commissioners is the board authorized the county to enter into an agreement.
Thus, Woltz said Knopf or county board Chairman Buck Golding have the legal authority to enter into the agreement with no additional vote of the board. The county board does not meet again until July 18, and no special meeting should be necessary to approve the interlocal agreement.
Andy is a staff writer and may be reached at 415-4698.