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County funds some recreation projects

Janet Imrick
Randolph Hub 


ASHEBORO — The Randolph County Board of Commissioners have approved contracts and grants for building new recreational spaces and renovations for wastewater treatment plants.


At their Nov. 6 meeting, they approved requests to pay for a consulting firm to plan a park in Trinity, construction of the Sandy Creek Bridge for the Deep River Trail, and a contractor to boost the capacity of the Seagrove-Ulah water treatment plant.


Commissioner David Allen said of the water treatment project, "This is a lot of money we're talking about. I want to make sure — if the county spends this money — in the future, these expansion plans don't fall upon the county for maintenance."


William Johnson, assistant county manager, and Paxton Arthurs, county engineer, explained that the Seagrove-Ulah water treatment plant repeatedly reached its capacity of 30,000 gallons per day in the last six months, necessitating a plan for improvements. Among their plans to expand the plant, they want to replace the current pump station with a submersible pump station capable of 200 gallons per minute.


The lowest bid was Terry's Plumbing's at $885,011, below the engineer's estimate of $1.6 million. Commissioners approved the contract after they asked if the low bid raised any concerns. Arthurs answered that Terry's Plumbing has a long history of completed projects in the Seagrove area.


Arthurs also presented the contract bids for construction of the Sandy Creek Bridge to connect the Deep River Trail between Franklinville and Ramseur. The lowest bid was $530,000 by Eastern Structures, greater than the estimated $300,000 price tag. Arthurs says that's likely due to the work demand on construction companies.


The board approved the contract. Commissioner Hope Haywood said, "I'm really excited to see this finally get built so that those trails can finally be connected. I've seen those areas have been a tourism driver for that area."


Commissioners also approved funding for the City of Trinity to take the next steps toward building a park. City officials want to put it on eight acres near NC Highway 62, near the Trinity/Randolph County Sheriff's Office.


Trinity City Manager Stevie Cox and City Council member Robbie Walker said it would include picnic shelters, a playground and trails, a veterans' memorial park, and a storyboard greenway with placards centered around books. It's part of Trinity's capital improvement plan, which the city adopted in August.


"This would improve our citizens' wellbeing because it would increase their physical activity and reduce stress,” Cox said, “and they would not have to travel to other communities to do things with their kids or just exercise."


"We're just looking to give our citizens a safe place to go and play, have a birthday celebration," Walker said. "I've been there all my life and I think it's been needed for years."


Commissioners approved an $80,000 strategic planning grant to pay for a consultant firm to work with city staff and an advisory committee.


Cox said a kickoff meeting would be held as early as December, with hopes to have a design by May 2024 and to be able to present a master plan in September or October.