Land owner still hopes for sewer

By Andy Winemiller - [email protected]

DOBSON — With a major sewer project in limbo, one property owner west of I-77 is willing to explore any other option to raise necessary funding.

George Hayes is one of three property owners who offered to contribute money toward a project to extend a sanitary sewer line in the Interstates Water and Sewer District west of I-77.

Early in 2016 the Surry County Board of Commissioners began considering the possibility of a change-order to the current project, which is set to come to a conclusion within the next couple of weeks, which would have delivered sewer services to three property owners west of the interstate.

The board was clear as to its terms to approve the $301,000 project. The three property owners would have to deliver half of the necessary funds for the project to the county.

On Monday evening County Attorney Ed Woltz told the county board the deal could be a no-go, as one of the three land owners was unable to come up with his $66,000 share. As the overall project is set to wrap up soon, time is of the essence if board members want to see the change-order come to fruition.

The other two affected property owners have contributed their matching funds, noted Woltz.

Commissioners shot down an option of the county fronting the money and securing a deed of trust on the property in question.

Now Hayes, who identified himself as the property owner who was unable to garner the funds, is saying he will do just about anything to keep the project from stalling.

“I don’t want to hold up this project,” explained Hayes. “The area needs that.”

Hayes said the project is personal for him. His father began working to bring water and sewer services to the property decades ago. The land is part of the Interstates Water and Sewer District and has had water service since 2010.

“I’ve been waiting on lenders,” said Hayes. “All of the deals I thought I had have fallen through.”

Hayes said he’s not a property investor who always has cash moving. Instead, he has simply inherited property and paid cash for everything he has. He has little to no credit history, which has led financial institutions to shy away from lending funds.

All of his properties, including a large property in Tennessee, are in a life estate for his son — a matter which further complicates any financing options and leads lending institutions to shy away from lending money.

That stated, Hayes said he owes nothing on any of his properties and has no liens on the properties. Thus, any deed of trust would be a first deed of trust. He would even consider using the 75-acre tract in Tennessee as collateral for a loan.

In short, Hayes said he’s looking for anybody who can help him contribute his share of the project. He hopes somebody will come forward who wishes to be a business partner, and he said he would also consider selling the property.

The 13-acre tract which would receive sewer services as a result of the proposed change-order is valued in excess of $200,000.

“I’ll sign whatever I have to to get this done,” remarked Hayes.

By Andy Winemiller

[email protected]

Andy is a staff writer and may be reached at 415-4698.

Andy is a staff writer and may be reached at 415-4698.

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