Family Dollar still a go in Chocowinity

Published 9:40 pm Monday, October 7, 2013

CHOCOWINITY — U.S. Highway 17 South business will soon have a new turn lane, along with a new business.

NCDOT is requiring Family Dollar, set be constructed near the intersection with Bragaw Lane, to build a turn lane on the northbound side of the highway.

Kevin Brickhouse, Chocowinity’s public works director, briefed the Chocowinity commissioners about the ongoing developments last Tuesday at the town’s meeting. According to Brickhouse, Family Dollar was scheduled to start construction at the end of 2012, but because of the unanticipated cost involved in building a turn lane, the project was put on hold. At stake was whether Family Dollar would be able to start and complete construction within the time period of town permits issued last year.

“I’m hoping that it will be built in this round of permits without them having to update the permits again,” Brickhouse said.

Also on the town’s agenda was the issue of a backflow/cross connection ordinance that will require all businesses and residences to install backflow prevention devices in order to protect the public water system from any type of contaminant intrusion. While newer businesses and essentially all homes are already outfitted with the devices, Brickhouse said that there are businesses that will have to abide by the new ordinance and update their system. He said the installation cost depends on the size of the line, and can range anywhere from $200 to $2,200.

“I’m sorry that this has to transpire, but it’s for the better good of our community,” Brickhouse said, regarding the additional cost to some business owners. “None of us like it, but it’s something that should have been done — it’s something we’ve got to do. I hate to go back and retrofit anything, but hopefully after this is done, we can go forward and not have anymore hiccups.”

Brickhouse is making tweaks to the wording of the ordinance before bringing it before the Board of Commissioners next month. A public hearing will be scheduled at a future date, but Brickhouse hopes the ordinance will be adopted by December.

While the N.C. Highway 33 railroad overpass bridge has made a detour part of many residents’ daily lives, those finding their own detours have put a crimp in some roadways, according to commissioners.

One such road—Moores Lane—was being used by residents as a time-saving detour around the detour, Brickhouse said. The road was blocked at certain times of the day while railroad cars were being loaded and unloaded on tracks crossing the lane, causing drivers to turn around at the expense of the landscape. The state and the town, however, put a stop to the additional traffic from residents looking for a shortcut.

“Traffic turnaround was becoming a nuisance for the residents in the Moores Lane vicinity,” Brickhouse said. “They were turning around in people’s yards, tearing the yards to all to pieces.”

Brickhouse said the road will remain closed for the project’s duration.

Chocowinity’s Board of Commissioners will meet again on Nov. 5.