Gary Herman: Alexander County Economic Development
ALEXANDER COUNTY, NC (December 6, 2017) – Construction on the Shurtape Technologies Job Retention Wastewater Project is well underway along NC Hwy. 90 in Hiddenite and Stony Point. Alexander County Government received two grants to construct the sewer lines and pump station to help retain Shurtape Technologies in Stony Point.
The Shurtape plant’s operation was dependent upon their on-site, privately-owned wastewater treatment facility which was aging and expensive to operate. Those issues, along with increasingly stringent environmental regulations left a cloud of uncertainty over the future viability of the Shurtape facility. Failure of the wastewater system would have been crippling to the Stony Point plant and may have left Shurtape with no option other than relocating the facility resulting in the loss of approximately 160 jobs in Alexander County.
The Golden Leaf Foundation awarded a $930,560 grant to Alexander County, while the Appalachian Regional Commission provided a grant of $278,640. Alexander County Government will contribute $185,000 to the project. The total project cost is estimated to be $1,394,200.
Ronnie Reese, newly-elected Chairman of the Alexander County Board of Commissioners, said this project demonstrates that Alexander County values its industry partners.
“Shurtape Technologies has always been, and will continue to be, a great corporate partner here in Alexander County,” Reese stated. “We are dedicated to helping our businesses and industries, and to helping keep valuable jobs in Alexander County. I would like to thank everyone involved in this project for making it possible for Shurtape to remain here. In addition, the addition of sewer service in the Stony Point area will open doors for future economic development projects.”
According to Benjie Thomas of West Consultants, the sewer project primarily includes installing approximately 18,000 linear feet of 6-inch force main and a 175 gallon-per-minute pump station. The pump station will be located adjacent to the Shurtape Technologies plant, with the force main extending along NC Hwy. 90 to an existing manhole in Hiddenite. From there, the wastewater will flow through existing pump stations and collection lines to the Town of Taylorsville wastewater treatment plant.
Buckeye Bridge LLC was awarded the construction contract. Eric Butler, utilities superintendent for the company, said the project is about 40 percent complete and is slightly ahead of schedule with completion expected near the end of May 2018.
Stephen Shuford, CEO of Shurtape Technologies LLC, expressed his appreciation to the partnerships that made this project a reality.
“The extension of public sewer to Stony Point is a game-changer for Shurtape’s facility there and meaningfully upgrades the infrastructure of the Stony Point community at large,” Shuford stated. “As a result of the outstanding cooperation of Alexander County, the Alexander County Economic Development Corporation, the Town of Taylorsville, and the Stony Point community, Shurtape will soon be able to dedicate 100 percent of our energy and resources to the production of the world’s best duct tape rather than managing our own wastewater treatment operation. Like Shurtape, other companies will likely find Stony Point a more attractive place to expand or locate a business, which bodes well for future economic development in the area.”
David Icenhour, Executive Director for the Alexander County Economic Development Corporation, said this project is proof that Alexander County places great value on economic development, existing industries, and job retention.
“This is a very important project for Alexander County in terms of promoting long-term economic development and helping to ensure the continued presence of Shurtape Technologies in Alexander County,” Icenhour said. “Completion of this project will solve a significant problem for the company, freeing up additional company resources. For the citizens of Alexander County, it’s important because this project is a major factor in helping to retain the approximately 160 employees at the Stony Point plant. It also gives Shurtape the flexibility, and opportunity, to expand operations if consumer demand for their products requires additional production. On behalf of the Alexander County Economic Development Corporation, I want to express appreciation to the Golden Leaf Foundation, Appalachian Regional Commission, and Alexander County Government for their participation in funding the project. In addition, the staff at Western Piedmont Council of Governments have been instrumental in preparing and administering these grants.”
David Odom, Town Manager for the Town of Taylorsville, said the town is proud to be a part of this project.
“We value the many contributions and stability that Shurtape has brought to our region,” Odom stated. “The Town of Taylorsville welcomes them as a new wastewater customer.”
Alexander County Engineer Darrell Robertson said that many entities are involved during a project of this scope, and expressed his appreciation for everyone working together.
“Installation of this sewer line involves coordination with existing systems, utilities, and operations,” Robertson noted. “Contact has been established between Buckeye Bridge, NC Department of Transportation, Alexander Railroad Company, PSNC Energy, and EnergyUnited Water Corporation to assure that construction operations are safe, existing utilities and services are protected, and operations are maintained. This coordination involves a daily effort by all of those involved.”