Independence buys McKnight lot

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By Larry Chambers, Staff

INDEPENDENCE — Independence Town Council has finally reached an agreement with the McKnight family to purchase a lot in the middle of town.
Town Manager Jerry Hughes said the purchase price for the less-than-an-acre McKnight lot is $90,000.
Hughes said town officials and town council have been negotiating with Tommy McKnight, the son of Gene T. “Fuzzy” McKnight.
The town has been using the lot for several years for different festivals and the weekly farmers’ market.
Hughes said uses for the corner were “unlimited.”
“We have future plans to build an amphitheater, playground for children and add permanent bathrooms,” Hughes said.

In other action:
• Hughes said Ramey Construction has replaced a large portion of the waterline along Main Street.
Hughes also reported to council this month that a large water leak occurred on Main Street above Grayson National Bank. “The leak most likely began months or possibly even a year ago.”
He said the leak had undermined the road bed all the way down to the entrance to the bank, and in most areas had created a tunnel more than four feet deep and in excess of four feet wide.
“Our public works crew worked from 11 a.m. on a Sunday morning until 1:30 a.m. [Monday] and returned Monday and worked from 8 a.m. through to 4 a.m. Tuesday.”
He estimated the cost to repair the leak at $29,000.

• Public Works Director Terry Osborne reported that the water system pumped 788,480 gallons for July from the town’s well and 3,534,000 gallons from the Va./N.C. Water Plant.

• Hughes said the DMV office operated by the town posted a record day of total receipts the third week of July, and revenue continues to grow.