Thursday, 04 April 2019 20:24

Haiglers retire from Richmond County Airport; Land updates on Epicenter, Enviva, water projects

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ROCKINGHAM— “If a book on customer service could be written, the Haigler brothers should definitely be the authors,” said County Manager Bryan Land as he announced the retirement of longtime Richmond County Airport Managers, Doyle and Sam Haigler to the County Commissioners Tuesday evening.  

Doyle Haigler is retiring with 52 years of service and his brother Sam with 11 years. 

“The Haigler brothers have been permanent fixtures around the airport for over half a century. These guys have been the face of our airport and it has been a pleasure to work alongside them for the 10 years I have been employed by Richmond County,” said Land adding thanks on behalf of Richmond County and wishing them both many great years of retirement.  

ROCKIN' AT THE ROCK

Land gave an update on the Epicenter Festival, a three-day concert event that is planned for May 10-12 on the Rockingham Festival Grounds, which include Rockingham Dragway and Rockingham Speedway.  

“All the pieces of the puzzle are starting to fall into place,” he said.

Ticket sales remain strong and Land said the event should be a “huge shot in the arm” for local sales- and occupancy-tax revenues. 

Land asked that local businesses welcome the attendees with open arms and said, “We need to show them how warm our hospitality can be in Richmond County,” he said, asking that local businesses welcome attendees with open arms. “I feel confident the event organizers will make a choice to call  Richmond County home for this event for many years to come.” 

WATER WOES CONTINUE

The Old Cheraw water project has been underway for three months and according to Land, crews have installed 20,000 linear feet of eight inch water line. Land reminded residents that if they tap onto the new line within 90 days of the project completion, their tap fees will be reduced from $900 down to only $400.  

Last month a petition was submitted to the county from residents requesting water in areas not covered under the current plans. Land updated the commissioners, noting that employees and staff had done due diligence to validate the information produced by the petitioners.  

Land said, “We received over 431 signatures, however, over 96 percent of those petitioners who signed the petition already have municipal water,” he said. “And while I appreciate the efforts of the residents that signed the petition, and I truly empathize with them, the bottom line is the vast majority of the petitioners already have access to municipal water.”   

Land reminded the commissioners that they already have policies and procedures in place to assure the water enterprise stays financially sound and emphasized “decisions cannot be made on emotion alone.”  

He noted that both the water and solid waste departments operate solely on the revenue generated by those enterprise funds. 

“There are zero tax dollars that go into either of these enterprise funds,” he said.

The county has a policy that requires any outlay for county water construction to be paid back within 10 years of project completion.  

Another option is being investigated by the county for any residents with documented contaminated water.  

Land mentioned that the Bernard Allen Emergency Drinking Water Fund was used several years back when wells were found to be contaminated from chemicals used in former peach orchards on Fox Road. This funding allowed county water lines to be run to residents in this area.  

Land said this fund is not as financially well-off as it once was but that some money was still available for documented well situations.   

According to the annual report issued to the N.C. General Assembly June 30, 2018:  

“The Bernard Allen Emergency Drinking Water Fund (fund), administered by the N.C. Division of Waste Management, was created in 2006 by the General Assembly to improve the state’s response to groundwater contamination and provide low-income households with a safe drinking water supply.” 

The report indicated the fund to have an effective balance of $59,966.22 at that time. Three authorized uses are listed:

  • pay for notice to persons whose wells were at risk from groundwater contamination; 
  • pay for the costs of testing private wells; and 
  • provide an alternate drinking water supply to well owners affected by the contamination.

ENVIVA NEARS COMPLETION

The Enviva wood pellet plant, located north of Hamlet on N.C. 177,  is just 75 days out from completion, according to Land, with 325 construction personnel working on the site daily to meet a targeted completion date of late June. 

The railroad crossing has been completed across the highway to the CSX mainline.  

“Enviva is still looking for employees and staff to man the new facility full time and many high paying jobs are still available,” Land said, encouraging those interested in employment to check the company’s website often.  

 

Last modified on Thursday, 04 April 2019 22:11