Monday night, the Surry County Board of Commissioners voted to cut ties with the Southern Pines-based engineering firm Hobbs, Upchurch & Associates.
That company, which has done work for the county in the past, seemingly is falling apart, with many of its employees having left after an investigation of the firm was opened. That probe, still being conducted by the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, is related to a grant application the firm filed relating to work in Yadkin County.
How this all affects Surry County is that Hobbs, Upchurch & Associates is the firm which has been handling engineering and related work for the Interstates Sewer Project, and the county has been forced into a waiting pattern for work to continue.
Monday night, the board of commissioners decided it would wait no more and took County Administrator Chris Knopf’s suggestion to officially cut ties with the firm on this project. Furthermore, the board instructed Knopf to ask for copies of the work already completed, and to ask for a full release of that work so the county can go ahead and use that work as it sees fit.
The board was absolutely correct in taking this vote. Knopf and other county officials have no confidence in the firm’s ability to get the job done, and problems cited by county officials with other work done by Hobbs, Upchurch & Associates calls into question that company’s ability to perform its job to the satisfaction of Surry County officials, regardless of the ongoing state probe.
According to county records, Surry County is up to date on its payments for all work done by Hobbs, Upchurch & Associates, the county has been patient and now must move on. We hope officials at Hobbs recognize this and grant an immediate release of all work so Surry County, and more importantly residents and businesses to be served by this project, can move forward.