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Restaurant responsible for sewer work

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By Christopher Brooke, Reporter

HILLSVILLE — Carroll County Public Service Authority declined to put in a small sewer line across U.S. 58 to serve the new Gallaher's steak house, but approved the concept with conditions.

Gary Larrowe, executive director of the authority, passed along a request from Mike and Barbara Gallaher to install an 1.5-inch line from the restaurant's location in the former clothing store on the north side of U.S. 58 near Interstate 77, where their coffee kiosk used to be.

From that former business, the Gallahers knew that a tap to the gravity flow sewer line existed on the south side of U.S. 58.

Larrowe explained the pipe to serve the restaurant only would have to pump the sewage across the four-lane road.

The Gallahers got a quote from PSA officials to do the work, with the caveat that any additional expenses arising from unexpected situations would also have to be paid for by the business owners, Larrowe said. The Gallahers would own the line and maintenance would be up to them.

Both the authority's director of outside operations and the county engineer feel this is a viable option, he added.

Who's going to engineer the line? Authority Member David Hutchins wanted to know.

Larrowe said the engineering would also be up to the business owners, and the county engineer would review those plans.

"We would not take on any engineering liabilities," he said.

Though the authority members hadn't seen any plans yet, Larrowe said they could approve the concept.

But it's hard to approve something you haven't seen, Hutchins said.

Authority Chairman Sam Dickson said that the members could approve a motion for the chairman, vice chairman and the county engineer to review the plans to make sure they meet all the requirements and to sign a contract for the work.

The estimate for the work is $5,700, Larrowe said.

Authority Member Manus McMillian offered a motion that stipulated that the PSA could proceed with the line installation after the engineering is completed and reviewed and the contract is in place with the business.

But Hutchins expressed discomfort with the idea of the PSA doing the work. "Not many things has gone exactly as planned, so far."

If the installation runs into rock and the cost goes up, covering that cost would be a part of the contract, Dickson said. If the business owners didn't want to go through with it, then the work would stop and that would be the end of it.

"I don't feel comfortable with us doing the work at all. Period," Hutchins said.

If PSA workers started installing the line and hit solid granite, he figured it would then become the authority's problem, because they didn't do something correctly. "And then we're in a litigation situation," Hutchins said.

The PSA workers do not need this work in order to fill up an eight-hour day, Larrowe said. An alternative is allow the Gallahers to tap into the sewer line to the south of 58 and let them do the work themselves.

The authority would still review the submitted engineering plan? Hutchins asked.

After McMillian withdrew his motion, Hutchins made one to approve the concept with the Gallahers providing the engineering plans and having an approved firm to do the installation.

Approving the concept is fine, Hutchins indicated. "But everything else is on their dime."

The motion was approved after a second by Authority Member Andy Jackson.