Polk approves $144K Peniel Road waterline bid

Published 9:57 am Friday, January 28, 2011

Line would provide water to proposed Green Creek restaurant

Polk County commissioners awarded a $144,120 contract bid to Clark Ledbetter Grading last week to extend the county’s Green Creek water line to the Peniel Road intersection along Hwy. 9. The water line will supply water to a proposed restaurant near the Hwy. 9 intersection in Green Creek.

Jason Schlabach approached the county last year requesting water service for the restaurant he is proposing to open. Commissioners decided to grant the request and extend the line to the Peniel Road intersection off Hwy. 9 in Green Creek. Because the restaurant and other possible development resulting from the water line extension would create jobs, the N.C. Rural Economic Development Center awarded Polk a $30,750 grant for the water line. The county plans to fund the remainder of the extension partly from budgeted funds for water line extensions and partly from the county’s fund balance.

Commissioners met Jan. 24 with county engineer Dave Odom regarding the bids. The county received 12 total bids for the project, ranging from $144,120 to $223,061. Odom had projected the cost of the extension to be approximately $180,000.

Odom told commissioners last week that the restaurant project’s sewage system, which will cost approximately $250,000, is complicated because the restaurant is proposed at 120 seats and a shopping center is also planned for the property. The project was supposed to receive a permit last June, but it has been delayed because of its size and complexity. Larger systems have to be permitted through the state.

Odom said the state requires an additional permit that will cost another $1,500. Commissioners agreed to pay that $1,500 in an effort to speed up the permitting process. They expressed concern over the length of time the project is taking, saying the grant has time constraints. Odom said the grant most likely will require that jobs be created in a year.

Commissioners expressed concern over the state requiring a second permit for the project.

“We talk about wanting jobs and we want to help people and here we have a guy who wants to open a 120-seat restaurant and he can’t get past go,” said commissioner Cindy Walker.

Odom said there’s no question the permit will be approved. He added that pipe pricing recently escalated and the low bid pricing will be locked in through the end of January. If commissioners wait longer than that to approve the bid, the price of the project could increase, Odom said.