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County OKs design of water line from PTRWA to Asheboro

ASHEBORO — Design for a proposed water line from the Randleman Lake system to the City of Asheboro was approved Aug. 14 by the Randolph County Board of Commissioners.


The Wooten Company was awarded the design contract for $776,200 after bids were also received from LKC Engineering and McGill Associates. The Wooten Company had been hired by the county last year to evaluate water and sewer infrastructure potential and to develop a master plan. 


One project that was identified in the plan, that would enable the county to sell some of its allocated water from the Randleman Lake, was a water line from the Piedmont Triad Regional Water Authority (PTRWA) to the City of Asheboro.


The Wooten Company was also selected as an on-call engineering firm for water and sewer projects, so the county reached out to them and requested a proposal for the design, bidding and construction administration of that project.


The 18,200 linear feet, or  approximately 3.45 miles, of 16-inch water line would attach to the PTRWA line at US 311 near Island Ford Road, follow Old Courthouse Road to Interstate 74, merge with Interstate 73 and meet with the City of Asheboro water line on Pineview Road. There would be one interstate crossing and one railroad crossing.


The contract with Wooten is for the design, bidding and construction administration of the water line. Total cost of design and construction is estimated at $7,583,100, which is anticipated to be a transfer from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). 


A water transmission line connection with the City of Asheboro system will allow the county to move the treated water to locations that require it, especially in the eastern part of the county.


Asheboro has been approved by the state to run water to the Wolfspeed microchip plant being built in western Chatham County. The water line, which would follow US 64, could also be used to transfer water to areas of eastern Randolph County, which is expected to see rapid growth with the coming of Wolfspeed and the Toyota Battery Plant west of Liberty.


In a related item, the commissioners received the annual update from Greg Flory, director of the PTRWA. 


Flory said Randolph County currently owns 8.75 million gallons per day (MGD) of Randleman Reservoir water. Of that, 1.25 MGD of treated water is available. 


Flory said the county should ask if it wants to use all its allotment, sell a portion of it or buy more. He said the PTRWA is looking to expand its water treatment plant from 14.7 MGD to 26.7 MGD at a cost of approximately $55.5 million. He said this would be the most cost-effective time to request more treated water.


Flory also said that the PTRWA has identified two compounds of concern in 1,4 Dioxane and PFA. A study of the best available treatment techniques found reverse osmosis to be best. 


Each partner contributes to the treatment based on its percentage of participation. The other partners are Greensboro, High Point, Archdale, Jamestown and Randleman.


In other business, the commissioners:


•Approved a bid to renovate the former Duke Energy building at 215 Balfour Drive, Archdale, as the Northwest Human Services Center. When construction is completed, the county’s Departments of Social Services and Public Health will have offices on nearly 16,000 square feet on two floors in the Archdale-Trinity area.


The low bidder was Garanco, Inc., of Pilot Mountain, at a total cost of $1,629,300, which was less than the $2.5 million estimated for the project. Paxton Arthurs, county engineer, said the reason for the low bid can be attributed to the architects, Smith Sinnett, finding ways to reduce costs and with the high number of bidders (six) interested in the project.


The upper level of the building will have five offices, a lab, pump storage and lactation room for Public Health, and 19 offices and large workroom for Social Services. There will be a shared conference room, break room, reception and waiting room. The lower level will be all Social Services, with 25 offices, a conference room, work area and break room.


The project also calls for parking lot coating and striping.


The estimated cost of furniture and equipment is $631,500.


Construction is expected to take 8-12 months.


•Appropriated funds for 22 new positions in the Department of Social Services in anticipation of the state expanding Medicaid.


According to Tracie Murphy, DSS director, it’s expected that Randolph County will have between 12,000-14,000 newly eligible for Medicaid when it’s expanded, possibly in October. The 22 positions will be needed to handle the workload, with salaries estimated to cost a total of $1,193,152. 


While the positions will be supported at 75 percent by the NC Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), leaving the county’s share at $219,920, the commissioners agreed to fund the total amount until the reimbursement comes from the state.


Murphy provided guidelines for eligibility for expanded Medicaid:

— Eligible adults between the ages of 19-64 with incomes up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level.

— Single individuals making about 20,000 per year.

— A family of two making approximately $27,214 per year.

— A family of three making approximately $34,000 per year.


•Learned of a grant application to the Golden Leaf Community Based Grants Initiative that could reward $1.5 million for the construction of the Farm, Food and Family Education Center.


According to William Johnson, assistant county manager, and Leia Gearhart, strategic program coordinator, representatives from the city and county school systems, Randolph Community College, Economic Development Corporation, county departments and Cooperative Extension had convened to develop project ideas. 


The center will offer technical expertise, educational programs, and resources for farmers to encourage the adoption of sustainable and efficient practices and enhance the agricultural industry in Randolph County. The result of the application should be known within a month or two.


•Approved a request by Sheriff Greg Seabolt to purchase two Chevrolet Silverado trucks for $93,498 from Modern Chevrolet. The funds are in the sheriff’s 2023-24 budget.


The sheriff also received approval to use $348,775 in law enforcement restricted funds to purchase Special Emergency Response Team (SERT) equipment and four new Harley Davidson motorcycles. The SERT equipment includes night vision goggles, ballistic helmets, Simuntion bolts, weapon lights and suppressors. The motorcycles include light package and installation, cable kit, helmet extension cable, helmet jackets, pants, boots, decals and striping. 


•Heard a report on the county’s Strategic Planning process that awards funds to various initiatives around the county. Funds for Strategic Planning come from Waste Management, which runs the Great Oak Landfill. The county has disbursed nearly $3.2 million since 2017.


The commissioners approved the following requests from Strategic Planning for 2024:

— Lydia’s Place Shelter for Women & Families, $55,494.

— Our Daily Bread Kitchen, $25,000;.

— Asheboro Shelter of Hope, $75,000.

— Asheboro’s McCrary Park, $500,000.

— 100 Man Project handicapped van, $54,842.

— RhinoLeap Productions, $20,000. 


•Passed a resolution honoring Energizer for its 75 years of producing batteries in Asheboro.


•Were reminded of a meeting of the Northeast Randolph County Growth Management Plan on Thursday, Aug. 31, at 4 p.m.