ASHEBORO — The Randolph County Board of Commissioners approved projects from Archdale to Seagrove at their June 5 meeting.
In an economic development effort, the board voted to extend sewer lines from the pump station near Uwharrie Charter Academy to a site at the northeast corner of I-73/74 and New Hope Church Road, north of Seagrove. County Engineer Paxton Arthurs said Love’s Travel Stop was interested in the location but would not commit due to sewer capacity issues.
“If the proposed pump station can be routed to the Uwharrie Pump Station, which is to be on the Asheboro system, Love’s has agreed to move forward with the project,” said Arthurs. “Although this is not a typical economic development project that creates jobs, the truck stop would produce revenue from sales taxes and property taxes.”
The owner of the property is Randolph Land Development, LLC, and the cost of the project is estimated at $800,000. Under the agreement, the county will fund $300,000 toward the project with the owner responsible for the balance.
The low bidder will be awarded the construction contract and the project will be overseen by Summey Engineering.
During a public hearing on the project, Crystal Gettys of the Randolph County Economic Development Corporation said that property at the rear of the site could be promoted for a distribution center or other industry.
Jack Lail of Randolph Land Development said that Love’s will hire 80 workers to operate the travel center. He said he can foreshadow more projects during the next few years as a result of the sewer service.
“I can see two other excellent commercial sites and 50 acres for an industrial site,” he said. “There’s great anticipation for it.”
Once completed, the improvements will be turned over to the Seagrove-Ulah Metropolitan Water District.
Maxton McDowell made the motion to approve the funding and Kenny Kidd seconded the motion, saying, “It’s such a win, win, win.” The motion passed unanimously.
Two more projects near Archdale
In the northwest corner of the county, there were two projects before the commissioners:
— The first was the final design of the Human Resources Building at 215 Balfour Drive, Archdale. The nearly 16,000 square feet on two floors had been the property of Duke Energy prior to the county coming into possession.
Plans are to provide office space for the county’s Department of Social Services and Public Health. Renovations would include 19 DSS offices on the second floor and five offices and related space for Public Health. Alternate renovation on the first floor would provide 25 more offices for DSS.
Smith Sinnett Architects estimates a cost of $1,508,150 for the base bid and another $1,043,150 for the alternate lower level renovation. Another $25,000 would be for parking lot seal coat and striping. An estimated $631,500 for furniture, equipment and services brings the total to $3,207,800.
The timeline for the project would have bids opened in July with commissioner approval in August. Construction is expected to take 8-12 months.
The commissioners voted 4-1 to go ahead with the bidding process. Kidd was the lone “no” vote.
— The second project was a potential industrial site on 67.6 acres owned by Ace Avant with the potential of being served by Norfolk Southern Railway. The property is across US 311 from the I-74 Industrial Center, to which water and sewer lines are being run.
The North Carolina Railroad has awarded a Build Ready grant of $500,000 to help offset the estimated $1,050,000 cost of the project. Any costs over that amount will be paid by the landowner.
The North Carolina Railroad grant is performance based, requiring that the property be for a railroad user. If the property is sold to a non-user, the grant must be paid back, with Ace Avant being responsible.
A requirement of the grant is that it be administered by a government entity. Randolph County agreed to be that agent, entering into a contract with Ace Avant, with Ace Avant being responsible for any grant payback.
The EDC believes that improvement of the property will increase its marketability for future industrial development.
The commissioners approved the request unanimously.
Wellness Center for county employees
The commissioners approved the bidding process for construction of a Wellness Center for Randolph County employees at Northgate Commons in Asheboro.
The board had approved at the April meeting the design by Smith Sinnett of the Wellness Center. The architects’ cost estimate was $349,600, with $300,000 coming from the Northgate renovation fund.
The design for the 2,420 square feet will provide five exam rooms, a lab, two doctors offices, pharmacy storage, an overflow area and restrooms.
In making the motion to approve the bidding process, Hope Haywood said, “This will probably save us 2 to 1 in dollars.”