DOBSON — The removal of a former classroom building will pave the way for a new emergency services facility at the Beulah Community Center.
Tuesday evening the Surry County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to allocate almost $60,000 from general fund contingency to tear down what was a classroom building at the school turned community center.
Months ago, Facilities Director Don Mitchell came before commissioners for permission to garner quotes from contractors for the removal of asbestos from the building. Mitchell was before the board with multiple quotes on Tuesday.
E.M.E. Industrial Services offered two quotes — one for $23,389 for the removal of asbestos only and another for $59,833 for the entire demolition of the building.
Mitchell told commissioners the company was also willing to reduce its price for complete demolition by about $10,000 if commissioners waived tipping fees at the landfill.
Public Works Director Dennis Bledsoe noted he believed tipping fees associated with the removal of the waste would be closer to $20,000. He also reminded commissioners his department functions as an enterprise fund, meaning it operates off of the money it makes at the landfill.
“Let them pay whatever the (tipping) bill is,” said Commissioner Van Tucker.
The board was almost in agreement. However, Commissioner Larry Johnson asked questions regarding the future use of the site.
The site is being eyed for an EMS facility. A quick-response paramedic is assigned to the Lowgap area. That paramedic is stationed at Raven Knob Boy Scout facility, but the camp will soon be inhabited by boy scouts. The county’s plan is to have a facility for use at the Beulah site when the boy scouts move into camp and the paramedic moves out.
“Have we done a cost estimate for this new building?” asked Johnson.
EMS Director John Shelton said the plans for his department’s facility were “nothing elaborate” and would likely consist of a mobile or modular building and a detached carport.
Johnson asked if anybody had entertained fixing the old classroom building.
“There’s nothing there to fix,” said Commissioner Buck Golding.
Mitchell described the building as being in “sad shape.” Once all of the asbestos is removed there will be little left of the building.
“I think we should move on with the demolition,” said Tucker, who also indicated by May 1 a new facility needed to be available to the paramedic stationed in Lowgap.
The board voted unanimously to allocate the $59,833 for the demolition of the structure. Back-filling the basement and grading is included in the cost.
• Another matter which had previously come before commissioners was removed from the board’s agenda Tuesday evening.
County Manager Chris Knopf said he was gathering more information regarding a bill for grading costs at the new location of a Bannertown Volunteer Fire Department sub-station.
A new station in the Holly Springs area was needed when the property upon which the department’s sub-station sat was needed for a runway expansion project at the Mount Airy-Surry County Airport. The airport authority was contractually obligated to provide a build-ready site to the fire department.
An outstanding bill in the amount of $55,000 for grading services at the site remains after the grading was performed in July.
Additional coverage of Tuesday’s meeting will appear in future editions of The News.
Andy is a staff writer and may be reached at 415-4698.