Landis to take on multiple construction projects in 2013

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 5, 2013

LANDIS — It appears 2013 will be the year of construction and system improvement projects for the town of Landis. The town is gearing up for a number of construction projects, some of which have already begun, including the long awaited water system project.

The water system was put into place about 65 years ago and for some time has needed an overhaul. In 2007, the town began looking into a water project when the state mandated necessary system improvements. It was also in 2007 the voters approved bonds for the water and sewer project. The project sat idle as the town worked to acquire stimulus money and grants, but did not receive any at that time.

The town has since opted to start the water project separate from the sewer portion.

Town Engineer Mike Acquesta with Municipal Engineering Services Co., told the board during the Monday meeting it was time to get the sewer portion of the project in motion.

Acquesta said he expects the water project to be complete by June and hopes the sewer project can begin in August.

There are some changes the town can make to the project he said, but bids should be accepted on the original project submission. The town could apply for a grant/loan to make any changes to the project. He plans to begin searching for funding in the coming weeks.

Since the water project is still underway, the board will have to extend its bond anticipation notes. The board adopted a resolution providing for the sale and issuance of nearly $3.4 million water bond anticipation notes.

Bond anticipation notes are smaller short-term bonds that can be issued by municipalities. The issuing bodies use the bond anticipation notes as short-term financing.

In May 2012, the board approved the sale and issuance of the same bond anticipation notes. This resolution will allow the town to extend the bonds until October. The town is at the end of the completion date for the bonds, which is later this month, but not at the end of the construction project.

Another upcoming project is making improvements to the sidewalks throughout town. In 2008, the board addressed the need repair or replace all of the worst sidewalks and eventually all sidewalks in town. On Monday, the board approved a resolution to request USDA Rural Development funding.

The goal is to encourage pedestrian traffic in the downtown area. The project would focus on sidewalks along North Main Street. Acquesta said applications must be in by Feb. 13, but that passing a resolution is the first step.

He said it usually takes three to six months to find out if funding has been approved.

The board approved plans to move forward with a new park office at the Lake Corriher Wilderness Area. There was always a plan to have a park office located at the lake.

In early 2011, the town parks director, some staff from the South Rowan YMCA and volunteers began clearing the overgrown debris and trash from the area before opening it up in April for activities. In August of that same year, the town discussed plans to turn the existing lake house into an office. The office would be where people could buy fishing permits and other equipment rental passes.

The old lake house has since been removed and the lot is ready for grading.

Town Manager Reed Linn contacted five contractors who were asked to submit bids, three of which responded. Of the three, Greg Ritchie Construction in Salisbury was the lowest bidder with a project cost of $179,810. The other two bids were Landis companies — Premier Builders and LaFave’s Construction.

The board approved Ritchie Construction, as Linn suggested. The lake office will look like a general store and contain a retail area for camping, fishing and outdoor supplies. There will be a conference room, a satellite police office, park director’s office and a detached shower/bathroom facility for campers and hikers.

  Contact reporter Shavonne Potts at 704-797-4253.