Surry County Board of Commissioners to consider Microsoft contract, mandatory sewer hook-up

May force sewer hook-ups

By Andy Winemiller -

DOBSON — Software used by local government operations would cost Surry County taxpayers more than half a million dollars over the next three years if approved Monday evening.

Meeting in Elkin this month, the Surry County Board of Commissioners is expected to consider an agreement with Microsoft for computers, servers and software.

According to a memo included in the commissioners’ agenda packets, the county’s agreement with Microsoft — concerning operating systems, programs such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Publisher, and access to email software — will expire on April 30.

The new agreement for the services would cost the county $175,787.06 per year for each of the next three years. A little more than $136,000 of the funding would come from the county’s Information Systems Department’s budget, while the remaining funds would be pulled from the budgets of the Department of Social Services and the 911 fund.

“This software is needed to keep the daily operations of the county up and running,” wrote M.I.S. Director Martha Brintle in her correspondence to the board.

• County commissioners will also consider forcing mandatory hook-up for sanitary sewer services in the Interstates Water and Sewer District, which encompasses the area west of Mount Airy along N.C. 89 to just west of the I-77 interchange.

The two ordinances before commissioners would force those properties with structures to hook onto the system, and unoccupied parcels of land would be charged an availability fee.

Work began on the project, which is expected to cost in excess of $6 million once all associated costs are calculated, in September of 2015.

• Commissioners will consider a resolution in support of N.C. Senate Bill 166. The bill would free up a sales tax of up to a half-cent on every dollar for use in school capital projects. Currently, those monies can only be used, if levied, for use in public transportation.

• Finance Officer Sarah Bowen and Public Works Director Dennis Bledsoe will ask county commissioners to consider a lease agreement for a new dozer at the landfill. Though a number of lease options are available from Caterpillar, the costs could range from about $328,000 to $380,000 for a five-year lease before purchasing the equipment.

An outright purchase of the equipment through a state contract would cost the county about $320,000, according to Bowen’s correspondence to the board.

As part of the plan, an old dozer which would be sold could generate about $50,000 to offset a portion of the costs associated with the new dozer.

• Bowen will also relay a request from Elkin City Schools to reallocate about $11,000 from a dishwasher project at its elementary school, which was completed under budget, to a project to lift the stage at Dixon Auditorium, a project running over its budget.

• Two rezoning efforts will be considered Monday evening. Carolina Carports is requesting the county rezone a 1.44-acre parcel on the east side of N.C. 601, just south of the N.C. 268 intersection, from rural agriculture use to highway business.

The Mount Airy-Surry County Airport has asked that commissioners rezone 187.4 acres which will be used as part of the runway expansion project at the airport from rural agriculture to manufacturing and industrial use.

Public hearings will be held on both rezoning matters.

Monday’s meeting will begin at 6 p.m. in the media center at Elkin High School, which is located at 334 Elk Spur Road. The school will serve dinner to the board at 5 p.m.

May force sewer hook-ups

By Andy Winemiller

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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