Mount Airy officials unanimously approved an amended agreement Thursday afternoon which will allow properties west of Interstate 77 in Surry County to be served by a city sewer extension.
This represents a continuation of a joint project approved nearly two years by the municipal and county governments to expand sewer lines to an area west of town in the N.C. 89 corridor where interstates 77 and 74 converge. It was undertaken to aid existing businesses and stimulate growth there, in addition to serving residences and North Surry and Gentry Middle schools along the way.
During the construction phase of that project which began in September 2015, officials have worked with adjoining property owners to expand gravity sewer lines even further. “The county decided to extend service to the west side of Interstate 77,” city Public Works Director Jeff Boyles said Thursday.
That was not part of the original drawings for the sewer extension, but is within the boundaries of the Interstates Water and Sewer District where officials have planned utility upgrades over the years.
Five different parcels of property are targeted for the extension related to Thursday’s vote on the amended agreement. These are in a generally undeveloped area that is eyed for future growth including possible restaurant use, which the sewer service would support.
“They’ve already come up with their part of the money,” Larry Johnson, a member of the Surry County Board of Commissioners — who attended Thursday’s city board meeting — said of a cost-sharing relationship involved between the county and landowners.
Four of the five property owners have signed up to hook on to the new sewer lines once completed, according to the meeting discussion.
Thursday’s action by Mount Airy officials involved amending an interlocal agreement for the initial project, which was approved by both local governments late in 2014, in order to add the expanded territory.
That occurred through a 5-0 vote.
“This is just to keep it clean with how the project is extended,” City Manager Barbara Jones said of the legal requirements surrounding such a move.
No costs are to be incurred by Mount Airy for the additional extension of sewer service, under the agreement approved.
In 2014, Mount Airy officials committed $1 million toward the initial expansion.
Rock delays work
Mayor David Rowe, who has been monitoring the progress of the sewer line extension — which involves a two-phase contract — provided an update during Thursday’s meeting.
It emerged that the work has encountered a frequent nemesis of local construction efforts: the presence of rock.
In this case, construction crews encountered rock in the vicinity of Brintle’s Truck Stop.
“They were supposed to be finished,” Rowe said of the first phase of the extension.
“But the rock … has created quite a problem.”
No timetable was given Thursday for when the entire sewer project is to be completed.
Tom Joyce may be reached at 336-415-4693 or on Twitter @Me_Reporter.