Town to help with community building costs

By Andy Winemiller -

DOBSON — Town officials have agreed to foot the bill for repairs at the Dobson Community Building.

“It’s a real asset to the town,” said Mayor Ricky Draughn at a recent meeting of the Dobson Board of Commissioners.

Draughn mentioned the building, which is located on Cooper Street near Dobson Elementary School, is used by a number of different groups as a meeting location. Additionally, the entity has been able to fund its own capital needs in the past.

“If we’ve given them any money, it’s been a long time,” noted Draughn.

Town Manager Josh Smith had asked the members of the town board if they wished to put town dollars toward new windows and steps at the community building. The steps are sagging, and the windows need replaced.

“Replacing the windows could save a lot of money in heating expenses in the long-run,” said Commissioner J. Wayne Atkins.

Atkins and the other four members of the board voted unanimously to cover the costs of the two projects, which are estimated to cost about $5,300.

The motion to provide the funds is contingent on the town receiving an official funding request from the community building.

The town board also gave Fire Chief David Jenkins the go-ahead to apply for a grant, which will be awarded in the 2017-18 fiscal year.

Jenkins said the town applies for the equipment grant from N.C. Department of Insurance nearly every year. It’s a 50-50 matching grant, for which the town has never been turned down.

The town will see its $4,000 matched if it is awarded the grant. Jenkins noted the $8,000 will be used to replace some smaller pieces of equipment such as valves.

Smith also provided an update regarding the town’s water treatment plant project. Work to install two new pumps at the plant should be completed in about 12 weeks.

Commissioners approved a notice to proceed on the project on Thursday.

The remainder of the total overhaul project is likely to go to bid in the summer months. Smith said he’s hoping to get it started as quickly as possible, as the town has already received extensions from regulatory agencies.

“I’ve asked the engineer for an aggressive timeline,” said Smith. “He has assured me we will send it to bid by June.”

Smith added he intends to have a weekly meeting with contracted engineer Kevin Heath, of the Lane Group.

With warmer weather just around the corner, municipal services manager and clerk Misty Marion said the town is preparing to host a number of events at Dobson Square Park.

According to Marion, the park will play host to Salem Baptist Church’s Easter egg hunt, and the town will hold its Spring Folly event in April. The splashpad is set to open in May, which coincides with the town’s first movie night, and the park will be the venue for a concert on June 10.

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.