Interim funding sought for exits

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By Christopher Brooke, Reporter

HILLSVILLE — To move along development of two Interstate 77 exits, the Carroll County Public Service Authority will seek interim financing.

Exit 19 is to be served as part of the regional water project with Wythe County and Wytheville and as part of the Woodlawn sewer project. Private landowners have graded a large tract there to prepare it for development.

At Exit 1, availability of water and sewer service was pivotal in attracting a Love's truck stop to the Lambsburg area.

Ronald Newman, the PSA's executive director, said at the Nov. 12 meeting the authority has already applied to federal agency Rural Development for Exit 19 funding.

"We've also asked Rural Development — if they were going to approve the projects but didn't have funding right at the moment — to authorize interim financing," he added.

County officials will still need to provide the federal agency some additional information, but Rural Development approves of the interim financing idea "in theory," Newman explained.

"Also, with Exit 1 water and sewer, we need to go after funding on that." he told the authority members.

Officials hoped to start construction as early as the end of January, Newman said.

Information from the authority said the Exit 1 project would reach substantial completion by Sept. 30.

Completion by June would be good for the company, he said.

What would it take to start construction in January? Chairman David Hutchins said.

To do that, engineer Kevin Heath answered that the authority would need to be in a position to go out to bid in three or four weeks.

The engineering firm will have to finish getting the bid documents ready, Heath said.

The authority will have to line up its funding, as well as get a performance agreement signed with the developer on the Love's project.

Hutchins said he wanted to move forward with the accelerated timeline, as he understands that will work for the company.

Newman asked for authorization to advertise for the needed funding, which the authority members granted through a motion.

In a related matter, the groundbreaking for the Woodlawn sewer project will be rescheduled to better suit Rep. Rick Boucher's schedule.

In other business, the Public Service Authority members:

• heard that the citizens working on the Happy Hollow Self-Help water project continued to work on Veterans Day, and they had installed about a half-mile of water lines up to that point.

Hutchins hoped to set up another community meeting for Pridemore Road, which could become the next water Self-Help project in the county.

• heard Newman say that staff continues to work on potential water projects for places like Sylvatus and Mitchells Crossroads areas.

There's also a need for sewer service along U.S. 52 in Cana, and a community meeting has been held there.

A community meeting on water for the Iron Ridge section of the county will be held Dec. 2 at the Cliffview Church of God.

Newman says officials also are working with Grace Baptist Church to set up a meeting to provide service to the Carroll side of Fries.