DOBSON — The Surry County Board of Commissioners will have its second meeting of 2012 on Tuesday, moved from Monday in recognition of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
Within the agenda, North Carolina Department of Transportation planner Hemal Shah will present a transportation plan aimed at helping drivers enter and vacate the county more easily.
Since spring 2010, the NCDOT has been developing the long-ranging Surry County Comprehensive Transportation Plan as part of a study encompassing the municipalities of Mount Airy, Dobson and Pilot Mountain. With reviews by local officials, planners completed an analysis of current deficiencies in the county’s transportation infrastructure in April 2011. The NCDOT have considered such items as projected traffic patterns, population growth and land use, all of which could affect citizens’ ability to get in and out of the municipal areas. Hence, the extensive plan looks to create improvements to particular roads and thoroughfares.
Among their materials, the NCDOT will offer the commissioners the proposed final plan draft maps and recommendations for the Mount Airy and Pilot Mountain sections of Surry County. In addition, they will provide the final draft of the Elkin-Jonesville plan, which was scheduled for adoption by the Elkin Town Board on Jan. 9.
As typical with similar plans, the Surry County Comprehensive Transportation Plan is subject to change, since the projected growth might not occur. The plan incorporates what researchers believe will happen, with a certain margin for error. To accomplish their ideas, the NCDOT must plan many years in advance, anticipating growth and traffic patterns affecting congestion near schools and businesses. In Mount Airy, those targets are Hwy. 601 and Hwy. 89.
Appearing before the board, Shah will ask the commissioners to review and adopt the Comprehensive Transportation Plan, contingent upon adoption by all local units involved.
If adopted by Surry and the three municipalities involved, the plan will be ready for review and subsequent adoption by the NCDOT in March. Maps will be scheduled for distribution in April, with the study being closed in July.
Other items on the agenda:
• Parks and Recreation Director Daniel White will provide an update on the Recreation Advisory Committee. The department is currently developing an Adopt-A-Trail grant for Fisher River Park, in addition to building a new ball field at Old Beulah School. It has also implemented new software to organize the billing and rentals at Fisher River Park. Furthermore, Parks and Recreation has selected April 27 as the date for the Special Olympics, to be held at North Surry High. The Special Olympics Kickoff Party will be on March 23.
• The Commissioners will recognize the JROTC Raider’s Team from East Surry High. In addition, they will honor the Health and Nutrition Employees of Life Saver.
• County Manager Dennis Thompson will review the Cascade Highlands program. Steps have been taken to ensure the budget does not run a deficit while Surry County acts as the program’s fiscal agent. The Piedmont Triad Regional Council desires to inventory the available industrial development land and buildings and to develop a long range plan for future sites and buildings. Development staff members have reviewed the proposal, agreeing the Surry County Board can prepare and map the current inventory to save the consultant cost.