Commissioners review infrastructure requests

Randolph County Commissioners

Proposed enhancements for water, sewer projects become focus of meeting

ASHEBORO — Finding the best way to distribute funds for infrastructure projects was the focus of a special meeting of the Randolph County commissioners this month.

Most of the presentations were centered on water and sewer topics.

The county will receive $28 million federal funds that will be designated for certain projects.

“Now we have more requests than we have monies,” commissioners chairman Darrell Frye said. “Our plan is to take advantage of every dime we can that will build and better secure the future of Randolph County.”

Randy Tedder, representing the Seagrove/Ulah Metropolitan Water District, said the need for quality water is growing in the southern part of the county.

That water district desires to increase the size of its water treatment system. Tedder said there’s an expectation of expanded needs because of schools and residential areas. A potential new building constructed for Uwharrie Charter School is among those.

“They’re relying on us,” Tedder said of the area in general.

Visitor centers in that part of the county contribute to the needs, particularly in spring and summer months.

Kevin Franklin, president of the Randolph County Economic Development Corporation, said the much-discussed megasite in the county with about 160 acres available for development will require significant infrastructure enhancements.

“We just have to get over that hump and make sure the facilities are there and readily available,” Franklin said.

Officials representing the towns of Franklinville and Ramseur also made their cases to be designated for some of the funding.

In Franklinville, much of the discussion has revolved around the quality of water. That town is seeking multiple sources of funding in order to make upgrades.

Ramseur’s aging infrastructure is drawing concerns because of what has been described as vital water and sewer needs. About 90 percent of the town’s water flow comes from the main pump system with some original parts that are 60 years old.

A proposed project for Ramseur includes sewer system rehabilitation. The information presented to county commissioners also included concerns related to contaminated wells.

The commissioners authorized county manager Hal Johnson to pursue seeking an engineering and planning consultant to assist in assessing the evaluation of the requests. A committee will be formed to review the various requests.

“What we’ve seen is various needs we have in Randolph County,” Johnson said.

 

By Bob Sutton

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