The McDowell County Commissioners agreed Monday to cooperate with the city of Marion in getting a grant for a sewer line along N.C. 226 South which could go to serve a new hotel.
Last month, the Marion City Council agreed to annex the 30-acre property on N.C. 226 South and Interstate 40, which is across from McDowell Technical Community College. City officials also approved the submission of a $120,000 grant application to the N.C. Department of Commerce’s infrastructure program. If awarded, this grant would support the extension of sewer service to that site on N.C. 226 South and I-40. City Manager Bob Boyette said last month the site is now vacant but property owner Prakash Kadire of New Jersey asked for the annexation to get city services so it can be developed. Boyette added Kadire has received confirmation of a franchise from “a major hotel chain” but he declined to name which one. The new hotel is expected to create 24 full-time jobs.
On Monday, the McDowell County Commissioners took action on this matter. The estimated cost for the sewer line is $293,300. The state grant would be for $120,000, but would leave a local match of $173,300. City officials asked for a local 50/50 cost share with the county on this match.
The commissioners agreed to provide the county’s part of the local match in the form of $85,650 over a two-year period.
“We definitely have a need for another hotel,” said Commissioner Matthew Crawford.
A sewer line along there would benefit the county government operations as well.
“The county would also benefit from the sewer extension since it would allow for the animal shelter and facility maintenance building to connect to sewer service,” said County Manager Ashley Wooten.
The animal shelter is on a septic system, which has to be pumped frequently.
“The animal shelter would very much like to be on sewer rather than septic,” said Wooten.
In other business, the McDowell County Commission:
• Heard about plans for The McDowell House.
• Heard an update on water projects. Wooten said the Harmony Grove Road water line extension is complete. He added the board should have a workshop in April to discuss the future growth of this system. County officials can also hear an update on the Lake James reclassification/water intake permitting process.
• Heard an update on the county’s greenway project, which is being headed up by Planning Administrator Ron Harmon and staff member Randall Conley.
• Approved some budget amendments and ordinances.
• Heard an update on the budget process. Wooten said he plans to present the county budget for 2017-2018 before the regular May 8 meeting.
• Held the first reading for two vacancies on the Planning Board. The terms for both Vice Chairman Dennis Whitson and member Arvin Hicks will expire in May.