DOBSON — During Thursday night’s meeting of the Dobson Town Board of Commissioners, the board approved a zoning request that will change three parcels of land at the edge of city limits from light industrial to business.
The request for the zoning change came from Surry County resident Gary York. He was not present at the meeting, but a representative for him, Jerry Atkins, came in his place. Atkins told the board that no “concrete” plans have been made for the land that goes from Ridge Road to Coalson Street along North Main Street near Golding Trucking.
The board also approved a request from the Pine Ridge Volunteer Fire Department to sign agreement that says the department can use the town’s fire hydrants. Pine Ridge Chief Chris Galyean said the department needs the agreement in order to lower its ISO rating from a 9 to 7. That rating helps homeowners get lower insurance premiums. Commissioner Wayne Atkins made the motion contingent on the county approving the same agreement.
While giving the board an update on projects, Town Manager Josh Smith said a permit has been issued to the town so that it will be in compliance with a sludge handling issue at its water treatment plant. Smith said that the engineering firm of Hobbs & Upchurch had given the town an estimate of $300,000 to upgrade the plant; however, after speaking with Anderson & Associates, a more realistic estimate of $1.3 million was given to fix the problem.
Smith told the board that $500,000 in grant money it received for another water project ended up falling through and those funds might be able to be used for this project. He said he would apply for more grants to pay for the rest of the project. If the town does not take care of its sludge-handling issue, it could be fined $25,000 a day by the state.
Smith said that 10 pedestrian recycling containers had arrived in town and will be installed in the coming months. The containers cost $10,000; however, 80 percent of that money will be provided by the North Carolina Department of Natural Resources. The rest of the funding will come from the town’s Tourism Development Authority.
Smith said the containers will make downtown more walkable.
In other business, Smith said Dobson’s Fall Fest will be held on Oct. 20 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. He said at the festival, the firm of Withers & Ravenel, that is helping the town with a plan for a town park will be on hand to get surveys from the town’s citizens to indicate what type of recreational activities they would like to see incorporated into a town park.
Smith said the town’s recreation committee has indicated that it would like to hold the town’s Christmas parade after dark this year under the Christmas street lights. A tree-lighting ceremony at town hall also is being planned, he said.
The board also appointed the town’s Finance Officer Laura Hill to the town’s recreation committee. She said she wants to serve on the committee.
Before the meeting was adjourned, Smith thanked the town’s police, fire and public works departments for their work in cleaning up debris from a recent storm that knocked one water tower offline for hours.
“They work diligently. I want to thank the town’s crews for working so hard,” said Smith.
Reach Mondee Tilley at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 719-1930.