City to act on Interstates project change

By Tom Joyce -

Mount Airy officials are poised to amend an agreement approved nearly two years ago to extend city sewer service to an area west of town where interstates 77 and 74 converge.

That project, a joint effort between Mount Airy and the Surry County government, was undertaken to aid existing businesses and stimulate growth there, in addition to serving residences and North Surry and Gentry Middle schools along the way.

It required the approval of an interlocal agreement between the governing boards of each and an entity known as the Interstates Water and Sewer District, which occurred near the end of 2014 and was signed by city and county officials in January 2015.

During the construction of the sewer-extension project, which was launched in September 2015, the Interstates Water and Sewer District and county have worked with adjoining property owners to extend gravity lines west of Interstate 77.

That area was not included in original drawings for the project, but is within the district boundaries, according to a city government memo from Public Works Director Jeff Boyles.

Including the additional territory is requiring Mount Airy officials to amend the interlocal pact approved in late 2014, which the city Board of Commissioners will consider during a meeting that begins Thursday at 2 p.m.

The county is bear all costs related to the sewer line extension, based on wording in a resolution on which city leaders will act then. That expense is estimated at $294,000.

Also under the amended agreement, any additional pump stations required for the project extension are to be privately maintained, with Mount Airy to have no responsibility for upkeep of those facilities.

Boyles says city staff members have examined the amended agreement and recommend its passage.

The pact calls for the city to eventually take over the extended sewer line.

In 2014 in conjunction with the original interlocal agreement, the city commissioners committed $1 million toward the county-led project’s estimated $4.9 million cost to extend gravity and force-main lines to the Interstates area.

Also at Thursday’s meeting, the city commissioners are scheduled to:

• Give special recognition to Darren Lewis, the city’s assistant parks and recreation director. Lewis recently received the 2016 Special Citation Award from the North Carolina Recreation and Park Association for his contributions to that field.

• Hear an update on local tourism efforts.

• Hold a closed session relating to the acquisition of property.

Tom Joyce may be reached at 336-415-4693 or on Twitter @Me_Reporter.

By Tom Joyce