County to use ARP funds in water line project
The Alexander County water system is going to expand, according to a county news release, thanks to funding from the American Rescue Plan Act in the amount of $7,283,353. At the Jan. 10 meeting (via Zoom due to COVID), the Alexander County Board of Commissioners approved an agreement for engineering services to begin planning for the water line extension project. The agreement named McGill Associates as engineering firm for the project.
McGill will complete the preliminary design, survey, design and permitting, easement map development, and bidding and award within a 12-month period and then provide general administration of the construction contract for a cost of $578,300.
“There are many people in Alexander County who are unserved or underserved in terms of having a reliable, quality water source. We are excited to continue to expand the county water system at no cost to our citizens by using funding from the American Rescue Plan Act,” said Chairman Ronnie Reese.
The water line extension project provides networking of the existing water system while extending water lines along unserved segments of Stan De La Drive, Bowman Court, Caldwell Pond Road, Jenkins-Moose Road, McAlpin Lane, Advent Church Road, Shepherd Court, Hefner Lane, Kirby Lackey Road, Shook Lane, Jimmy Shook Lane, Hickory Hollow Road, and Laurel Ridge Lane. The water line extensions total approximately 42,500 linear feet ranging from 2 inches to 8 inches in diameter.
County Manager Rick French said planning for the water line extension project began in August 2021.
In other business:
• Commissioners approved a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for architectural services for a new Alexander County Courthouse. The RFQ will be advertised and posted, with statements of qualifications due by February 11. Mr. French said that proposals will be presented to commissioners after careful review. The board will then form a selection committee to determine the architectural firm and to proceed with planning for a new courthouse, which would be located off Industrial Boulevard. Commissioners approved a budget ordinance amendment in the amount of $500,000 to increase the budget for the estimated architect fees.
• The board approved a project budget ordinance for a building renovation grant project for Paul Robert Chair, Inc. The $60,000 grant from the NC Department of Commerce will support the renovation of a 57,615-square-foot building. The project is expected to create 10 jobs, with an investment of $64,396 by the company. Alexander County provided a $3,000 local match.
• In the County Manager’s Report, Mr. French informed the board that a dedication ceremony and program for the new Alexander County Courthouse Park will be held on Sunday, May 15. Additional details will be released soon.
He also reported that Information Technology Director Greg Cronk will retire effective April 1 after 22 years of service to Alexander County Government.
Commissioners also voted to continue a nuisance case on Jimmy Duncan Lane until their February 7th meeting.
• Commissioners approved an amendment to the agreement with the Western Piedmont Council of Governments for technical planning assistance through June 30, 2022. The amendment increases WPCOG staff work days from two to three days each week for an additional cost of $12,163.
• The board approved an amendment to the county’s paid time off policy to reward full-time and part-time county employees with a day off (eight hours in most cases) for their birthday.
• Commissioners heard a presentation from Dianne Little, president of Alexander County United Way, regarding the agency’s recent Community Needs Survey. She said the survey received a total of 152 responses. Survey respondents were provided seven areas and were asked to rank those areas from most critical to least critical. Countywide, rankings were: education, food insecurity, healthcare, broadband, homelessness, housing, and transportation. Results varied from community to community.
The Alexander County Board of Commissioners typically meets on the first Monday of each month at 6:00 p.m. in room #103 at the CVCC Alexander Center for Education. The next meeting is set for Monday, February 7 at 6:00 p.m. Regular meetings are recorded, and can be viewed on the county’s Government Channel on Spectrum channel 192 or on the county’s YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/alexandercountync. Meeting agendas, minutes, videos, and more are available on the county’s website at www.alexandercountync.gov/commissioners.