Exit 1 water deal looks promising

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Carroll officials hope to encourage development in Lambsburg by supplying area with water from Mount Airy.

By Christopher Brooke, Reporter

HILLSVILLE — Though negotiations with Mount Airy, N.C., on buying water to supply Interstate 77’s Exit 1 have been legally and technically difficult, Carroll officials sound optimistic that the deal will be closed soon.
Ever since the Love’s truck stop located at the Interstate 77 interchange in Lambsburg, Carroll officials have tried to secure a water supply that would allow for more growth there.
County representatives drilled wells and worked on forging an agreement with the city of Mount Airy across the Virginia-North Carolina line.
It’s the city, in fact, that supplies water to the Virginia Welcome Center with the storage tank located inside Carroll, County Administrator Gary Larrowe noted at the Nov. 15 Public Service Authority meeting.
The Virginia and North Carolina transportation departments were also involved in the agreement that supplied water to the welcome center, and that agreement will limit the amount of water Carroll County can get from that system for several years to come, he noted.
The authority has approved agreements with Mount Airy several times, but Larrowe believes this may be the one that seals the deal. “We would hopefully be able to get Mount Airy approval shortly,” the county administrator said. “It would be based on their meeting schedule.”
The agreement hasn’t changed much over time, Larrowe indicated. Carroll County would connect to the Mount Airy tank that’s in the Lambsburg area.
Carroll could use up to 10,000 gallons from that system a day and will augment that amount with wells that the PSA has, he added. Carroll may develop another well to augment the Lambsburg system.
That would ensure that the authority could supply water to the Exit 1 area until the agreement between Mount Airy and the two state departments of transportation expires in about eight years.
“I think we’ve approved a version of this at every meeting for the past year, actually,” Larrowe said about the negotiations in general. “It’s just been an evolving process.”
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is also a party to the Lambsburg agreement, and the federal agency has signed off on it, Larrowe said. He recommended that the PSA also approve the agreement and send it to Mount Airy.
PSA Member William Payne made a motion to approve, and all authority members voted yes.