ALEXANDER COUNTY, NC (August 21, 2019) – Sewer was the main topic of discussion at a joint meeting between the Alexander County Board of Commissioners and the Taylorsville Town Council on Monday, August 19th. The joint meeting was held at the end of the regular commission meeting.
Alexander County Manager Rick French said the county and town have worked successfully together on numerous sewer projects in the past. However, he expressed concern about the upcoming shell building project in the Alexander Industrial Park, for which sewer infrastructure is estimated to cost at least $400,000. French asked if the town could help with the cost and/or share revenues.
French noted that the county has water and sewer agreements with the City of Hickory in other areas of the county, with the majority of the sewer being in Bethlehem. The county receives 50 percent of water revenues and a growing portion of sewer revenues, while the county pays 100 percent of the infrastructure costs. Hickory provides 100 percent of the maintenance on their portions of the water and sewer system.
Taylorsville Town Manager David Odom said the county and town has agreements dating back to the 1990s, and he hopes to continue the partnership to provide sewer service for county projects. He said the town’s wastewater treatment plant was constructed in 1955, with one lift station. Today, the plant has 33 lift stations and a capacity of 1.2 million gallons per day. The plant is currently operating at less than 40 percent capacity, with 350,000 to 400,000 gallons of wastewater being treated daily.
Commissioner Ryan Mayberry said the county and town need to reach an agreement that is fair to both sides and provides guidance for future projects.
Both boards agreed that County Manager French and Town Manager Odom should meet in the near future to discuss options.
“This is a big step in collaboration between the town and the county. What’s good for one is good for the other,” said Dr. Jeff Peal, Chairman of the Alexander County Board of Commissioners. “Together, we can build a vision and see our wonderful community flourish. We just want to see how we can move forward in a win-win situation.”
In other business:
• Commissioners held a public hearing to consider the adoption of the Alexander County Historic Preservation Design Review Guidelines proposed by the county’s Historic Preservation Committee (HPC). HPC Vice-Chairperson Lee Sharpe presented the proposed design review guidelines to commissioners. There was no public comment for or against the proposed document. Commissioners unanimously approved the guidelines, with the following additions: 1) all proposed historic landmark or district nominations must be approved by commissioners prior to being nominated for designation on the National Register of Historic Places; and 2) proposed historic districts must have 100 percent approval of the property owners before the recommended district may be proposed to commissioners. The guidelines represent the key principles of preservation including maintaining, repairing, replacing, and other treatments to designated historic properties. Design review guidelines provide a basis for making fair decisions, consistency in design review, incentives for investment, property value enhancement, and a tool for educating the public on the value of preserving our historic heritage.
• Commissioners heard a report from Rocky Face Park Director, Alisha Stamey, who presented an update on park planning. Stamey said the county is working with the Western Piedmont Council of Governments (WPCOG) to develop a countywide parks and recreation plan as well as a site-specific plan for Dusty Ridge Park. She encouraged the public to complete the county’s parks survey (www.alexandercountync.gov/survey) to provide input on current parks as well as future amenities. As part of the public outreach campaign, a series of public meetings have been scheduled at 6:00 p.m. on August 29th at Bethlehem Park (187 Bethlehem Park Lane), September 3rd at Alexander County Administration Downstairs Conference Room (621 Liledoun Road), September 10th at Stony Point Branch Library (431 Ruritan Park Road), September 12th at Dusty Ridge Park (360 Dusty Ridge Access Road), and October 3rd at Rocky Face Park (3645 Rocky Face Church Road). Stamey said the countywide parks plan should be complete by December, which will then allow the county to begin work on a North Carolina Parks and Recreation Trust Fund grant (NCPARTF).
• Commissioners heard a report from Carolina Land & Lakes Resource Conservation and Development. Jack Simms, who was recently appointed to the Carolina Land & Lakes Board of Directors, presented an update on the group’s activity since joining the board in April, and introduced executive director Melissa Patton. Patton said the organization is working with the NC Forest Service on determining the best location for a wood pellet mill, which would produce wood pellets to be used as a heat/energy source (replacing propane) for poultry houses. Some believe that Alexander County is the ideal location the facility, which would be an investment of approximately $5 million. Carolina Land & Lakes is currently looking for grant funding from the US Forest Service and the US Department of Agriculture. Simms is researching potential sites in Alexander County. In addition, the organization is planning a “FireWise” workshop on October 7th at Rocky Face Park to educate the public on how to prepare for wildfires.
• Commissioners appointed Judy Caywood, Donny Teague, and Gerald Davis to the Alexander County ABC Board.
The next meeting of the Alexander County Board of Commissioners is scheduled for Monday, September 9th at 6:00 p.m. in room #103 at the CVCC Alexander Center for Education, located at 345 Industrial Boulevard in Taylorsville. The Alexander County Consolidated Human Services Board will meet after the commission meeting.
Meetings of the Alexander County Board of Commissioners are recorded and available for viewing on the county’s YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/alexandercountync. The meetings may also be viewed on the Alexander County Government Channel on Spectrum channel 192.