Final water agreement reached with Mount Airy

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By Christopher Brooke, Reporter

HILLSVILLE — Carroll County Public Service Authority officials treated Mount Airy, N.C.’s approval of a long-sought water agreement as an early Christmas present.
During his project updates at the short meeting last Wednesday, County Administrator Gary Larrowe confirmed that the effort to work with the North Carolina city to supply Interstate 77’s Exit 1 with water has come to fruition.
“Another Christmas present that the PSA has actually received is the final approval of the Mount Airy water agreement,” he told the authority. “And this is the first time it’s ever been approved” by the city.
The county administrator hasn’t gotten the official documents from Mount Airy, but the city manager has called Larrowe to share that information over the phone.
“We’re very happy about that,” he said. “That will allow us to move forward with the Exit 1 project and we’ll go from there.”
The Mount Airy News has printed an article about the city council approving the agreement, said authority member William Payne. Mount Airy officials sounded excited about it.
“It’s been a good year,” said authority member David Hutchins, wrapping up 2012 at the PSA’s last meeting until 2013. “I think there’s a tremendous number of positive things that happened, the Mount Airy water agreement being one of those.”
Many things have finally come into place, including the Mount Airy agreement, said authority member Sam Dickson. Water and sewer projects like this and others give Carroll County an opportunity to grow.
Authority members had hoped at the November meeting that the final agreement was drawing close, after more than a year of work.
Ever since the Love’s truck stop opened 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, 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, Larrowe said.
Carroll could use up to 10,000 gallons from that system a day and can augment that amount with the PSA’s wells, according to the discussion at the November meeting. 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.