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FANCY GAP — Two Fancy Gap business owners feel like they’ve tapped into history, now that the public water project is nearing completion.
When construction on the new water system wraps up, it will supply 132,800 gallons a day to the area from the Blue Ridge Parkway at U.S. 52 to Interstate 77’s exit 8 and beyond.
Business owners Michael Lake and Steve Sherfel have already collected a few drops that are the most meaningful to them.
Lake and Sherfel own Blue Ridge Trading Company just south of Old Appalachian Trail and the parkway.
They made a deal with the Carroll Public Service Authority that the agency could have an easement across their property in order to have the water system reach its southernmost coverage area on U.S. 52, Lake noted.
That easement went right by their store’s well, so in exchange for the easement the owners asked the PSA to connect them to public water before unhooking their well water.
(Lake knows the man who dug the well, Lester Gardner, from when he had a business at that location.)
As a result of that stipulation with the PSA, Blue Ridge Trading Company became the first customer to turn their faucet on, they believe.
To commemorate the moment, Lake grabbed a small glass decanter off the shelf at their combination hardware store and flea market to catch those first drops.
“We were selling [the decanter] in the flea market there,” Lake said. “I decided to pick it up and use it \ it was the nicest thing I had.”
Maybe it could be a museum-quality artifact one day and make up a display as a turning point in Fancy Gap, recalling the watershed event that opened the spigot for growth for the community.
“It’s highly anticipated,” Lake said about the water project. “This is a big step for Fancy Gap.”
Jessica Montgomery, Carroll County’s engineer, expected to receive the letter from the Virginia Department of Health marking Fancy Gap water’s substantial completion this week.
Before all customers get online, the authority staff has to install the water meters and the customers have to run a water line from the meter to their home or business, she said. A few other PSA customers at Exit 8, who had received water from a small package plant, also can access the public water now.
Work on the sewer system continues.