By Erin C. Perkins The Mount Airy News firstname.lastname@example.org
Dobson Commissioners decided to move forward with a $2,500 market study to determine affordability and possible locations for a local YMCA as well as efforts to change traffic lanes for East Atkins Street Thursday.
The board approved a proposal to use part of its miscellaneous recreation budget of $9,000 to conduct the $2,500 study to see if the town could afford a local YMCA and if the facility would be able to support itself.
"We've received good response from the community," said Burcham, adding that she had heard from people who wanted to work on a committee for the project as well as others who wanted to donate land for a building.
In May, Burcham said the estimated cost of using an existing building would be between $1.5 million to $2.5 million.
Jamie Tilley, a Dobson resident, encouraged the board to endorse the market study and project.
"I grew up in the YMCA," said Tilley, who added that a local YMCA would provide exercise programs and activities for the local community as well as draw participants from nearby areas.
"I've heard from other people who are interested. It's a step to bring more people to Dobson."
Burcham said she had been in discussion with the Children's Center of Surry whose representatives said it would be willing to help the town pursue the project.
"The interest is there, now we have to start the kick off," Burcham said.
The complete study would include surveying residents for interest, researching a suitable area and looking at total costs of maintenance and construction.
In a separate matter, representatives from the North Carolina Department of Transportation presented the board with collision diagrams to suggest reducing the traffic lanes on East Atkins Street from four lanes to three lanes in an effort to decrease accidents; increase the width of the lanes from 10 feet to 12 feet and add a four-foot bicycle lane.
The NCDOT reported that out of 100 accidents analyzed during a five-year period it appeared that 21 which occurred along East Atkins Street were preventable.
The board approved a motion to support the project and to create a resolution.
In other business:
* Representatives from the Dobson Pool and Dolphins Swim team requested funds to help resurface the pool. Because the board had already approved a request in the past that provided the pool $5,000 for each year from 1995-1999, along with $125,000 from the county, to help rebuild the pool, the board asked that representatives return at the next town hall meeting with a presentation about the use of those funds.
* The board approved a bid of almost $95,000 to repair the pavement of Stratford Place and Blessing Drive as well as $26,365 bid for various sidewalk repairs in the town.
* Burcham said there would be another round of water meetings for the Mount Airy Interconnect Project serving residents along The Allison Tree and Piney Grove Road, and for the county's sewer and water connections in the Forest Oaks and Surry acres communities on Sept. 23. The connection will extend Dobson's water lines to link up with those of Mount Airy, serving more than 100 customers at each community.
Burcham, town and county representatives met with potential residential customers to survey their interest in participating in the $1.4 million project earlier this month.
The next town commissioners' meeting is scheduled for Sept. 25 at 6 p.m. in the town hall meeting room. Meetings are open to the public.