Alexander County water supply projects near completion

ALEXANDER COUNTY (November 3, 2021) – Two water projects in Alexander County are nearing completion and residents are encouraged to tap into the new water lines by Dec. 31 to take advantage of the reduced tap fees. At the November 1 meeting, the Alexander County Council of Commissioners heard a report on water supply projects from RJ Mozeley, senior project manager for McGill Associates, who served as engineer for the projects. .

Mozeley said the 2018 water project included 71,100 linear feet of six-inch and eight-inch water pipes in various parts of the county. The roads were chosen to provide services to areas in need and to improve the connectivity of the water supply system. Water pipes have been installed on portions of the following roads: Fox Court, Zeb Watts Road, Liberty Grove Church Road, Dula Loop, Ned Herman Road, Poly Bowman Road, Deal Farm Lane, Kirkpatrick Lane, Espie Little Road, Icard Ridge Road, Teague Town Road and B&T Lane.

In April 2020, Commissioners approved an additional water pipe extension project that installed 11,500 linear feet of water pipes on unserved portions of Sanchez Road, RZ Bowman Road, William Reece Road, Clouse Road , Friday-Cockrell Road, Rabbit Hollow Road, AL Fox Road. , Crowson Road, Outrigger Road and Drum & Hammer Road. Water lines will be installed on Emerald Point Drive and Crappie Cove Lane over the next 60 days, bringing the projects to completion.

To help residents who live in these areas, faucet fees have been reduced to $ 541, for a savings of $ 602 per faucet. The fee reduction will expire on December 31. If you live in an area where water lines have been installed, contact the Town of Hickory at (828) 323-7427.

In other cases:
• Allison Brown, Alexander County Co-operative Extension Manager, presented information on the upcoming Farm-City Week, which is observed each year the week leading up to Thanksgiving. The special week recognizes the contributions of farmers to rural and urban settings.

“Whether it’s a generational farm or a new and starting farm, farms in Alexander County continue to provide economic, environmental and health benefits to many people,” said Brown. “No matter where we live, on the farm or in town, a farmer touches our lives.”

She said farmers in Alexander County have a huge impact on the local economy, with revenues of around $ 176 million. There are 544 farms in the county, averaging 100 acres each. In North Carolina, the county ranks 4th for layers (chickens), 12th for broilers (chickens) and 13th for beef cattle, but is the 88th largest county.

“Our farmers are very valuable to us and they bring a lot of income to the county,” said Larry Yoder, president. “Our farmers are to be commended for the work they do.

Brown encourages the public to recognize the farmers, ranchers and traders who support agriculture and farming by using #AlexanderFarmCityWeek on social media.

• Zack Shepherd, Regional Director of Community Relations at Vaya Health, presented an overview of Medicaid transformation. He said Vaya is a local government agency that runs state-funded services for people with mental health, addiction, and intellectual / developmental disability (MHSUIDD) issues in an area of ​​22 counties in the western North Carolina, including Alexander County. Shepherd said Medicaid Managed Care includes three types of prepaid health plans (PHP): standard, tailor-made and tribal. The standard plans went into effect in July 2021. There are 8,435 people eligible for Medicaid in Alexander County, of which 7,796 switched to the standard plan in July. Only 639 people will be eligible for the tailor-made plan in July 2022. He said Vaya will consolidate with Cardinal Innovations and serve nine additional counties for a total of 31 counties. Learn more about Vaya Health at www.vayahealth.com.

• Commissioners approved an order to close portions of roads for the Alexander County Christmas Parade on Saturday, December 4 at 3 pm. 16 South.

• Commissioners approved a proclamation designating November 1 as Power Plant Workers Appreciation Day in recognition of the men and women who generate the electricity everyone depends on. Alexander County is home to the Oxford and Lookout hydropower plants, which produce reliable power to serve homes and businesses in the area.

• In the county manager’s report, Rick French said the Alexander County Economic Development Corporation (EDC) received a $ 25,000 hometown revitalization grant from Duke Energy to support small businesses that have been affected. by COVID-19. Eleven companies received $ 2,250 each. Learn more at www.alexanderedc.org/news.

French also noted that the Alexander Friends of the Library book sale is scheduled for November 4-7 at 135 Commercial Park Avenue (near CVCC Alexander Center for Education), and encouraged the public to attend.

• During the public comment period, there were three speakers. Macy Jones said she heard the county was planning to use all $ 7,283,353 in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to expand the county’s water supply system. She offered to spend $ 1 million to support various things, such as replacing lost public sector income, providing childcare assistance, giving bonuses to frontline workers, l ‘granting grants to nonprofits and businesses, funding pantries, helping the homeless coalition. , and more.

Dianne Little, President of the Board of Centraide, presented the preliminary results of her community needs survey, which received 148 responses. The results of the county-wide survey showed that the overall needs are broadband, education, health care, housing and transportation. Food insecurity and homelessness were noted in residential assessments.

Priscilla Jenkins, Founder and CEO of The Bridge Community, has asked for financial support for the displaced / homeless population of Alexander County. She said schools in Alexander County reported 87 homeless children (those without a permanent address) in 2020, and that there is a growing homeless adult population. Jenkins demanded that commissioners use $ 2 million in ARPA funds to establish a homeless shelter.

Meeting of the Consolidated Human Services Council
• Linda Clements, Deputy Director of MAS, said the ministry recently completed the Recipient Eligibility Determination Audit (REDA), with some issues that have been uncovered. A corrective action plan will be developed with state officials on December 12 during a virtual meeting.

More details will soon be available on the Low Income Household Water Supply Assistance Program (LIHWA). As of October 14, only 80 of the 450 water suppliers had signed up for the program.

She said the child protection program is facing vacancies. Although they are making progress in the justice system, there are currently 67 children in foster care and four in the 18-21 year old program.

November is national adoption month. A meeting of the Foster Parents Association was scheduled to take place on November 2 at Mt. Herman Baptist Church. Orientation meetings for foster parents are scheduled for November 8 and December 6.

The Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP) begins in December for the elderly and people with disabilities, and is open to others in January.

• Billie Walker, Deputy Director of Health, provided an update on COVID-19. She said the numbers were much better than a month ago. As of Nov. 1, Alexander County had a cumulative total of 6,491 cases, with 106 cases in the past 14 days and 54 cases in the past seven days. There were seven people in the hospital. There have been 125 deaths associated with the virus.

The test positivity rate fell to 5.6% in Alexander County from 9.9% a month ago. The state’s rate is 5.0%, down from 9.4% a month ago.

The health department is offering a third dose of Moderna and Pfizer to people who are immunocompromised and booster doses of Moderna and Pfizer to those who were vaccinated six months or more ago. She said individuals can “mix and match” with the booster. For example, if a person has received two doses of Pfizer, they might choose the Moderna vaccine for their booster. She said health service staff can help citizens understand the specifics of third doses and boosters and help them make the decision that is best for them.

The FDA has approved the vaccine for 5 to 11 years and CDC approval is pending, but is expected soon.

The Alexander County Council of Commissioners typically meets on the first Monday of each month at 6:00 p.m. in Room 103 of the CVCC Alexander Center for Education. The next meeting is scheduled for Monday December 6 at 6:00 p.m. Regular meetings are recorded and can be viewed on the county government channel at Spectrum 192 or the county YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/alexandercountync. Meeting agendas, minutes, videos and more are available on the county website at www.alexandercountync.gov/commissioners.

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