Home Local News Richmond County Commissioners approve road closure, award engineering contract to LKC

Richmond County Commissioners approve road closure, award engineering contract to LKC

Richmond County Planning Director Tracy Parris approaches the Board of Commissioners regarding a requested road closure. Photos by William R. Toler - Richmond Observer

ROCKINGHAM — The Richmond County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday voted to permanently close a section of Sunset Avenue in Hamlet.

The closure will affect the area between Oak Avenue and Anne Street (labeled on Google Maps as “Whistle Road”), according to Planning Director Tracy Parris.

Parris said the property owners along that stretch requested the closure — to cut out unwanted through traffic on the dirt road — and that the property be divided amongst the neighbors.

The road is just outside the Hamlet city limits, according to Parris.

The decision was made following a public hearing where no one spoke, however one of the families was in attendance.

A map shows the area of road neighbors requested the county to close.

After approving an expenditure for naloxone (click here to read that story), commissioners accepted a $300,000 Asset Inventory and Assessment from the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality Division of Water Infrastructure.

According to Public Works Director Jerry Austin, the county applied for the grant last September and it was awarded in March, and requires no county match.

Austin added that the funding will assist the Water Department with recording drawings and archiving existing mapping, water distribution system mapping, operations and maintenance reports for critical assets, hydraulic water modeling, a capital improvement plan, asset and inventory assessment, as well as provide field computers for county workers.

Once the grant was awarded, Austin said he had to request bids for engineering services and he advertised with three firms in May: LKC Engineering of Aberdeen; MESCO of Boone; and McGill and Associates, which has several offices in North Carolina — including one in Pinehurst — as well as an office in each Virginia and Tennessee.

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Austin said submittals were due in June and that the only firm to respond was LKC.

Chairman Jeff Smart asked if the county had used LKC in the past, to which Austin replied, “Multiple times. We’ve got a good relationship with them.

The decision passed unanimously.

Hamlet recently awarded projects for its water system to LKC.

Prior to that, the board approved annual fire contracts for the volunteer fire departments.

Those departments, according to Emergency Services Director Bob Smith, include Cordova, Derby, East Rockingham, Northside, Mountain Creek in Richmond County, as well as the Mount Gilead and Pekin departments in Montgomery County “for the mutual aid that they offer to us on the north end of the county.”

Commissioner Dr. Rick Watkins was also reappointed to a three-year term on the Sandhills Center Board of Directors.