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April 18, 2024

County Commission hears project updates

By MICAH HENRY

County Manager Shane Fox outlined several county project updates during the Alexander County Board of Commissioners meeting on Monday, January 8, 2024, at the CVCC Alexander Center. Four commissioners were present; Commissioner Larry Yoder was absent.

Fox said a final walk-through is planned January 10 for the swim beach and walking trail at Wittenburg Access on Lake Hickory in Bethlehem.

The county manager said that bids are expected on January 16 for the Bethlehem Park upgrades. The project includes a new concessions/restroom building, additional picnic space, new ADA-compliant parking and walkway, field lighting improvements, tennis court resurfacing with pickleball courts, and more. The county will add a new playground.

Bids are due January 30 on the Bowman Court sewer work. The county water line project is undergoing a permitting process before bids can be accepted. The Bethlehem Water Tank Project is also awaiting permits and should be ready for bidding by early February, Fox stated.

The Fire Training facility (being constructed at the Taylorsville Lions Club Fairgrounds using shipping containers) is underway, with welding remaining on steps and railing and painting yet to be done.

Survey work for the EMS Station 1 state-funded expansion project is complete, said Fox, and is with the architect. This will include a 5-bay garage, office area, and training/conference room.

The Health Department canopy project is also in the architect review phase.

As part of the consent agenda, Commissioners approved Martin Moose as a Review Officer for the Alexander County Planning Area. Moose will be tasked with reviewing each land plat before it is recorded and certify that it meets the North Carolina statutory requirements.

Names for two new roads and one road name change were among items approved at the meeting. The commission approved the names in a 3-0 vote (Commission Chairman Josh Lail abstained due to owning land where two roads are being placed). New road names of Plantation Drive and Turnberry Lane, both off Heritage Farm Road in Bethlehem, were approved, as well as a name change of Evening Shade Lane to Pope Mountain Lane.

Fox presented a schedule change for the September 2024 meeting, which commissioners approved. The initial calendar called for the board to meet on September 2, Labor Day. The new date is September 9.

Fox also presented Budget Ordinance Amendments 12-14, which were unanimously approved. Amendment 12 increases the Health Department budget for new State funding for lead and asbestos remediation ($3,160), increases the Dept. of Social Services budget $3,450 for donations received from Alexander Community Support Resources for the Angel Tree Program, distributed by DSS, and increases the Library budget $53,511 for one-time grant funds received from the ARP State Fiscal Recovery Funds.

Amendment 13 budgets $327,000 for the updated scope of work for the 2022 State Appropriations Act Grant ($750,000) to cover the costs of initial design work for a new Courthouse. The scope change will maximize grant funds for the County project expenses before the June 30, 2024, grant spending deadline.

Budget Amendment 14 budgets $819 and $387 for grant reimbursement from the Streamflow Rehabilitation Assistance Program (StRAP) to the Soil & Water Department.

The next commission meeting is Feb. 5, at 6 p.m. at CVCC Alexander Center.

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