PILOT MOUNTAIN — On Monday, during the regularly monthly meeting of the Pilot Mountain Board of Commissioners, it was announced that Hayco Construction came in as the lowest bidder on Phase II of the Pilot Center.
Mayor Earl Sheppard said the town had nine companies that bid on the project that will cost upwards of $635,000. Sheppard said he was pleased that the winning bidder is a Pilot Mountain company.
“They are excited. We are excited,” said Sheppard.
The project includes adding two classrooms and an industrial training area to the center that is a distance learning center for Surry Community College.
Sheppard said the town needs to find an additional $85,000 to finish up everything the town wants to do with the project. He said he met with Sen. Don East, and Town Manager Homer Dearmin met with Dr. David Shockley, president of SCC, to find more funding.
There will be a dedication day at the center on Sept. 20. Sheppard said he had a promise from Gov. Bev Perdue that she would be there that day.
“I would love for her to see it,” said Sheppard.
Commissioner Carolyn Boyles made the motion to accept the base bid of $326,500 from Hayco and Commissioner Linda Needham seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous.
In the bidding process, the town will need an additional $8,135 for a canopy for the Pilot Mountain Pride Center, $15,850 for the canopy at the community college, $16,500 for folding partitions in the classrooms, $3,250 for plumping fixtures and $6,930 for toilet partitions.
Dearmin said he would like to see the facility finished by the time the college’s fall semester begins.
“This will finish the project. We are excited,” said Sheppard.
Todd Tucker, president of the Surry County Economic Development Partnership, who was in attendance at the meeting, told the mayor that he would like to see more welders being trained at the center.
Tucker also addressed the board to give them a quarterly update on the state of economic development right now.
“Last year, we had a good year in economic development and 2012 started off with a lot of activity. But, this is an election year, so people are holding off to see what happens in November,” said Tucker.
Tucker said the EDP is getting four serious inquires from businesses looking to move here per month, but that they only had one they could fill the needs for. He said last year 96 percent of companies were looking for an existing building and of that 90 percent were looking for one with 100,000 square feet or more.
“It’s cheaper to buy a building than it is to build one right now,” said Tucker.
He said the EDP is starting a new public relations campaign, is revamping its website and is in the process of making some Youtube videos to try and attract new business to the area.
He said the EDP also is working with existing industries who are looking to grow.
In other business, Dearmin asked the board to consider adopting an ordinance that restaurants use grease interceptors so that fats, oils and grease do not enter the town’s sewer system. He said the town’s public works department would be in charge of enforcement. He said the ordinance is something that is required by the state. The board voted unanimously to approve the ordinance.
In a departmental report from Marshall Atkins, chairman of the town’s ABC Board, he said February sales were at $58,228, which is up 18.15 percent over last year’s February’s sales. He said the store is up 7.83 percent for the year, which is the highest increase statewide. The board voted to appoint Atkins and Larry Cook to the ABC Board for three-year terms.
During the meeting, Sheppard recognized West Stokes High School Football Coach Jimmy Upchurch for being the 2011 2AA western regional champions and the 2011 2AA state champions. He presented him with a framed letter of recognition. Upchurch is a native of Pilot Mountain and graduated from East Surry High School where he played football. Sheppard said this is Upchurch’s 10th year as football coach. Last year, Upchurch took his team to a 16-0 winning season.
“We want to express our thanks. This shows pride for your school, your family and your town,” said Sheppard.
Upchurch said he was proud to be a member of the town.
Also during the meeting, Pilot Mountain Police Chief Darryl Bottoms recognized Officer Mike Palmer for keeping impaired drivers off the town’s roads. Bottoms said the recognition came from Mothers Against Drunk Driving and presented Palmer with a certificate of recognition.
Bottoms also said that the Operation Medicine Drop held on Friday at Mt. Pilot Drug was successful and 3,000 units of medication were collected that day.
Dearmin said he is getting good feedback on the town’s website. He said he has been posting the minutes of the town meetings, which was requested by citizen Michael McCarty. He said he also is working with the town’s Tourism Development Authority to get a working calendar on the site that would include events for different groups in the town such as the civic club.
Dearmin said the town’s first cruise-in will be held on May 5 and Mayfest would be the following weekend. He said the town woman’s club is hosting a 5K on the May 12.
The town will have a clean-up day on April 28 starting at town hall at 8 a.m. Dearmin encouraged citizens to come out and help plant flowers and clean up the town.
He said he is looking into getting sidewalk repairs to Main Street done in the near future.
Dearmin also announced that on Friday the North Carolina Department of Transportation notified him that the bridge on Old Westfield Road will be replaced in a year and a half. He said the bridge would be closed for three to four months and traffic would have to be rerouted in that area. He said local resident Renee Davis was instrumental in getting the DOT’s attention about the bridge that is in disrepair. Dearmin said he would work with DOT to get that project moved up for safety reasons.
After the board came out of a closed cession to discuss economic development, legal and closed session minutes, commissioners discussed painting the town’s fire hydrants. Commissioner Gary Bell said he had talked with the Pilot Knob Volunteer Fire Department about the matter and it had agreed to pressure test the hydrants and paint them. There has been some controversy about painting over the hydrants that were painted by Pilot Mountain Middle School students several years ago that line Main Street.
Commissioner Carolyn Boyles said she likes the painted hydrants.
“They are beautiful. They need to stay like they are. I think we are all in favor of painting the other ones,” said Boyles.
No final decision has been made on the matter.
Contact Mondee Tilley at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 719-1930.