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Polk starts work on Mill Spring water line

Public water may soon reach&bsp; the main crossroads in Mill Spring of Hwys. 9 and 108.

Digging is scheduled to begin tomorrow for a Polk County water line that will stretch from the county middle school to the crossroads and potentially serve some commercial and residential properties in the area.The county had hit a road block for the project because Dan Dunn and Woodland Mills were not willing to grant the county rights of way for the line on their property.

The county had said it planned to use its eminent domain authority to obtain the rights of way.&bsp; But county leaders recently decided to bypass Dunn&squo;s property instead but will proceed with condemnation of the Woodland Mills&squo; right of way.

County officials held a construction meeting Monday with Dave Odom of Odom & Associates Engineering and with Marvin Hull Construction, which won the $368,000 bid this year. Others present at the construction meeting included representatives of the N.C. Department of Transportation and

e-Polk, which has fiber optic line in the construction area.

Odom said all the permits are in hand for the project, and digging should start on Wednesday. The total project is expected to be completed in about two months. The water line will include a 12-inch and a 24-inch section, with construction beginning on the middle school side of the project and ending at the crossroads. The project also includes the installation of four fire hydrants on the line.

Construction of the line will begin on the west side of Hwy. 108 at the middle school, go&bsp; in front of Woodland Mills property continuing on the west side of Hwy. 108. It will then cross under Hwy. 108 just before the Dunn&squo;s property to the east side of Hwy. 108 and then cross back to the west side at Post Office Road just before the crossroads.

Dunn had said he supports Columbus bringing water and sewer lines to his property and gave the town the right of way instead of the county.

Odom also said the county is still waiting on the 30-day waiting period for condemnation of the Woodland Mills property to take effect but that waiting period will be up shortly and the project can proceed.

Odom said the N.C. Department of Transportation wants the line to be five feet away from the road pavement. Odom said in most places the line will be more than five feet away.

One stream will have to be crossed, but the county has permits from the Army Corps of Engineers to do that. Any traffic issues, such as road closures, should be minimal, Odom said.

The project will include the resurfacing of the parking lot at the crossroads where Pittman Well Boring, LLC, AA Pavers and Thermal Electric are located.

Polk County Manager Ryan Whitson says the county plans to include funding for sewer lines in the same area in next year&squo;s budget, which will begin this July 1.

Whitson said the county currently has capacity with its well system at the middle school to serve eight water customers. The county&squo;s sewer system, located at Woodland Mills, has more capacity and could handle about 34 three-bedroom homes, Whitson said.

The county and the Town of Columbus have both been competing to get water to Mill Spring. The county and all three towns at one time were working together on future water options and included in a joint plan that the county would extend its middle school source to Mill Spring. Columbus this year decided to run both water and sewer lines to Mill Spring.

Columbus Town Manager Tim Holloman says Columbus is still moving forward with its plans to install water and sewer lines to Mill Spring. He says the county&squo;s installation of water lines won&squo;t affect Columbus. The only thing that may be affected, Holloman says, is the town&squo;s grant for water line funding with the N.C. Rural Center.