The Yadkin Board of Commissioners voted Monday night to approve the initial interlocal agreement between the town of Yadkinville and the county to provide water to the proposed Hoots Road jail site with no changes.
Commissioner Kevin Austin asked to be excused from the vote in order to avoid any hint of conflict of interest; therefore the vote tally was 4-0. Commissioner Brady Wooten voted to approve the agreement, after voicing his concerns that an evaluation of the potential water pressure and other possible issues that may come up in the future in order to avoid mistakes in the construction of the waterline. He cited the waterline on 21 as an example of why this needs to be done. Wooten requested that a notation be made in the minutes that he was not in favor of going ahead with construction until an evaluation was completed by Adams and Heath, the company that will provide the engineer for this project.
“It seems things may be moving forward,” said Jim Haynes, Interim County Manager.
The county has been in negotiations with the town of Yadkinville to provide water for the proposed Hoots Road jail site since September 2008 according to Ken Larking, Yadkinville town manager. Above and beyond the fact that the jail will need water, an agreement from the town to provide water for the jail, is one of the items required by the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources before the permit that will allow construction to begin will be issued.
The original permit application filed with the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources contained documentation of a water agreement that, according to Yadkinville Mayor Hubert Gregory, did not exist. The interlocal agreement sent with the application was based on a grant that was never received and furthermore, had nothing to do with extending waterlines on Hoots Road.
The Yadkinville Board of Commissioners wanted the jail to stay within the Yadkinville city limits and, according to Gregory, have offered concessions for this to happen. The board approved at least two resolutions of support to keep the jail within the city limits of Yadkinville. In agreement with many residents, the members of the board have stated on numerous occasions in the past that moving the jail and possibly the Sheriff’s Office and eventually the court house out of the downtown area would hurt the downtown businesses that thrive due to those employees and services being based in Yadkinville.
“The town has to work with the county,” Gregory said Monday. “Regardless of personal feelings, the best thing for all parties is complete and full cooperation. It’s more than obvious that we want the jail to remain downtown, and for good reasons, but we don’t want to interfere with them if they chose to put it out on Hoots Road.”
An informal meeting between the county utilities subcommittee and representatives of the town was held on Tuesday, Dec. 15. The initial interlocal agreement was drafted for the approval of both the boards during this meeting.
“We came up with a recommendation for an agreement for the approval of both boards,” said Larking.
The Yadkinville Board of Commissioners is not scheduled to meet again until Jan. 4.