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HILLSVILLE — The new Carroll Public Service Authority members received a welcome in the form of renewed requests for water and sewer at its first meeting.
Citizen John Nobili had brought requests for public sewer service for Carrollwood Drive to the authority before, but that was before six new people were appointed to the board that oversees public utilities in the county.
The Carroll Board of Supervisors appointed themselves to the authority positions in early January.
Nobili, owner and operator of Carrollwood Campground with his wife since 1971, requested that the road with its 22 potential users be included in the Woodlawn sewer project.
That sewer project would collect from areas west of Hillsville and pump the wastewater to Galax for treatment.
People living on Carrollwood Drive, just north of U.S. 58, are experiencing percolation problems, Nobili said. Plus, there are three acres in the area ripe for development, which would help contribute to Carroll County’s tax base.
A preliminary cost estimate to run a line from the vicinity had been prepared and presented to the authority already. Nobili presented copies of the county board’s July 2007 meeting minutes, which recounted those estimates.
The estimate put the cost of installing 3,500 feet of eight-inch line at about $520,000.
Steve Rutherford, a Carrollwood Drive resident, said he supported getting a sewer line. “I think it would be a good thing, since we’re going through there anyway.”
(The authority has agreed to use leftover funds — if there are enough — to supply sewer service to Carrollwood Drive, county staff said after the meeting.)
Fancy Gap citizen Gina Isom saw hope for progress with the installation of the new authority members.
The elected county supervisors could have appointed any citizen to the authority they wanted, Isom said. But they instead decided to appoint themselves.
“By accepting the responsibility for this position it shows me that you want progress for this county,” she said.
The supervisors need to be on the authority, she felt, “to know what is going on firsthand” and to set a clear direction on public water and sewer work.
“I realize that many people think it would be better to have citizens on this board, and in the future after this board has a clear direction that may be appropriate,” Isom said. “With the record of the last four years, this PSA office at times has not had the attention it deserved because of all the indifference.”
Isom said she and the people of Fancy Gap, who hope to see public water and sewer in that community to spark further development there, support the authority.
She shared that people and businesses of Fancy Gap wanted to know before the end of the meeting if there would be another bid for a preliminary engineering report in connection with water and sewer.
(Engineering recommendations had been made in December to drill wells to supply Fancy Gap with water and connect a sewer system to the plan Woodlawn system.)
“If not, which direction will this board go with the previous [engineering report] that was presented?” Isom wondered. “We are interested because the health department application is due in early spring, and if we need more signups, we want to be sure that we get those.”
Before concluding, she asked the authority to remember that “if we build it, they will come.”