ELKIN — With easements in place, a sewer line to serve a Surry County company may be ready to push forward.
According to County Attorney Ed Woltz, the county has come to terms and easements are in place which would allow for the construction of a sewer line to provide sanitary sewer services to Weyerhaeuser, a company in Elkin which makes oriented strand board.
At a November meeting of the Surry County Board of Commissioners, Woltz had explained that easements were holding up the project, which started in 2013. The county’s only task in seeing the project to completion was garnering the necessary easements.
“They want Weyerhaeuser to keep up the river bank on the property,” Woltz said of one landowner. “They are asking for $5,000, and they want their driveway paved.”
The owners of the parcel went as far as noting which contractor they want to see perform the services associated with paving the driveway.
The demands were not agreeable to the board, with Commissioner Van Tucker calling the driveway demands “a no-go,” and the board voted to fund $5,000 for the easement without granting the additional demands.
Negotiations concluded recently, and Woltz noted the property owners agreed to the easement for compensation from the county in the amount of $5,000. The driveway will be partially paved as an addition to the sewer project.
Wolts indicated the other easement stalling the project involved garnering the consent of a number of heirs to a now-deceased property owner and a tenant. That easement cost the county $2,500 and notary fees for the heirs, who were spread across the country.
With the necessary easements in place, Woltz noted the county’s role in the matter is complete.
As County Manager Chris Knopf noted in November, another matter could also delay the project. The Yadkin Valley Sewer Authority, which provides wastewater treatment services to Elkin, Jonesville and Ronda, hadn’t yet agreed to accept the waste from the plant.
Knopf said Weyerhaeuser had already completed about $1 million in work in preparation for hooking on to the sewer system. However, the company and the sewer authority haven’t come to terms on discharge levels and pre-treatment procedures for Weyerhaeuser waste.
Though the sewer authority’s executive director indicated the authority was actively negotiating an agreement with Weyerhaeuser in October, in November authority representatives refused to return a phone call seeking an update.
Andy is a staff writer and may be reached at 415-4698.