DOBSON — A proposed water line extension to deliver public water to the state line failed to garner any traction among members of the Surry County Board of Commissioners.
Monday evening the county board met, and considered involvement in a water line project which would deliver water services to Virginia residents. It also could have made public water available to about 90 businesses and homes in Surry County.
“It’s in the very preliminary stages,” said County Manager Chris Knopf of a possible plan to deliver water from the city of Mount Airy to residents in Cana, Virginia.
Knopf had received an email from engineer Kevin Heath, who is working with the Carroll County Public Service Authority and the city on formulating a potential project.
Heath has also managed numerous water and sewer projects for the county.
According to Heath’s email, Mount Airy had expressed some interest in supplying water to the Cana community, which currently gets its water from a system of public wells. The system is in need of additional water volume.
However, Heath noted a line running from Mount Airy’s system would have to be built. The proposed course of the line would travel along Fancy Gap Road, U.S. 52 and White Pines Country Club Road to the state line. Another possible route for the line would take it directly north on U.S. 52. Though the latter is a shorter route, it would require an additional pump station.
“The longer route would serve more people,” noted Commissioner Buck Golding, who also said he would want to see cost estimates before determining whether he had any interest in the county partnering in the project.
Knopf said he and county staff had worked to determine whether there had been any water quality issues or requests for public water among the Surry County residents who would be served by such a project. They had been unable to locate any such concerns or requests in county records.
“We are working on other projects where we have people who have asked (for water services),” said Commissioner Larry Phillips.
Commissioner Van Tucker said, “I don’t think it’s of high priority right now.”
After noting the county “had bigger fish to fry” Board Chairman Eddie Harris told Knopf not to pursue further information, as the board had come to a general consensus it would not pursue the project.
In other business, the board voted unanimously to amend the budget for the Sheriff’s Office to purchase four new cruisers.
Knopf explained nearly $154,000 had been allocated in the fiscal year 2016-17 budget for the purchase of six cruisers. However, Sheriff Graham Atkinson wanted to purchase four Ford sport utility vehicles and two Dodge Chargers rather than six Chargers.
Commissioners opted to allow Atkinson to use a $14,000 insurance settlement the county received from a wrecked Charger for the excess funds needed to upgrade four of the vehicles to the utility vehicles.
“Deputies don’t just face high speed in Surry County,” said Tucker. “They face high terrain.”
He explained law enforcement officials could have to navigate long, steep and sometimes muddy driveways and other obstacles to respond to calls or serve warrants in the county.
“These are not fancies or frills,” noted Tucker.