Board addresses water woes

BAKERSVILLE – The Mitchell County Commissioners at a special meeting Tuesday, Sept. 10, unanimously approved a solution for the woes of the drainage system at the county’s new 911 Center. 

Project architect Jim Stumbo, of Stewart Cooper Newell Architects, addressed the commissioners at the meeting and fielded questions.

Stumbo said in the current design, stormwater flows through a T-shaped pipe on one side and empties into an existing, man-made ditch that did not show up in the initial land surveys. That ditch, he added, was quickly overrun. 

Also, several segments of the land were not appropriately graded by Hickory Construction, Stumbo said. Hickory Construction has worked to correct some grading issues, but Stumbo still recommended changing the route water takes through the T-shaped pipe. 

“Even with the corrections, in the event of a large storm, we still run the risk of the water that comes out of the system catching that existing drainage ditch,” Stumbo said. “The biggest thing is the rerouting of the pipe.”

Stumbo recommended eliminating the T-shape by removing the side of the pipe that leads to the ditch. The other side, Stumbo said, can direct water to the nearby creek, which he assured the commissioners would have minimal impact on the creek water level.

The commissioners approved a decision to move forward with Stumbo’s recommended plan of directing the water to the creek. The solution will cost approximately $17,300 before contractor fees. 

The funds will come out of the project’s contingency fund and will not change the overall cost for the county, Stumbo said, adding any contingency funds left over after the project’s completion will go back to the county 911 board. 

In addition to the piping change, Hickory Construction will correct several other areas that were graded incorrectly on the site and will add grass or fabric to several areas with heavy water flow. 

Hickory Construction will handle the cost of re-grading and grass. 

“They’re very frustrated with the subcontractor to the point where they’re getting a different one,” Stumbo said. “I told Hickory Construction I was coming here today, and there were some things Mitchell County would have to cover, but some I think are Hickory’s.”

The MItchell News

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