|Infrastructure will support business, residential growth|
Staff Photo by K.A. Wagoner:
SML Chamber Director Vicki Gardner, Franklin County Administrator Rick Huff, Mike Grissetti with Homestead Creamery, Gills Creek Supervisor Bob Camicia, Donnie Montgomery with Homestead Creamery and Gary Robertson with the Western Virginia Water Authority cut a ribbon Friday morning to celebrate the activation of the Burnt Chimney water line.
Monday, August 4, 2014
By K.A. WAGONER - Staff Writer
Franklin County officials gathered at Homestead Creamery Friday morning to celebrate the extension of a water line to the Burnt Chimney area.
"We've always had major problems with water in Burnt Chimney," said Gills Creek Supervisor Bob Camicia. "This new water line will have a big impact on our businesses, like Homestead Creamery, and several communities and their residents."
The water line project, which cost around $3 million, began last July when the Franklin County Board of Supervisors approved funding for the extension of a water line from Westlake to Burnt Chimney. The extension was a joint project of the county and the Western Virginia Water Authority (WVWA).
Of the total cost of the project, the water authority paid $1 million. The rest of the money came from the county utility fund and borrowed funds. The Tobacco Commission provided $250,000 for the design and engineering of the project.
"Not only will this water line help commercial growth and expansion, but it will increase our tax base with residential growth," Camicia added.
The water line was extended 10 miles from Westlake to Burnt Chimney, just past the elementary school, according to Gary Robertson with WVWA, connecting 258 parcels of land, including 13 commercial connections. Two of those commercial properties are Homestead Creamery and Burnt Chimney Elementary School.
"The water situation here was a frustration for many years," said Donnie Montgomery, president of Homestead Creamery. "We dug numerous wells with no water."
"This new water line is critical for us moving forward," Montgomery added, referring to a $1.1 million expansion under way at the facility.
Last year, the creamery announced the expansion that includes the introduction of cheese and yogurt products.
"Water is one of the most important elements for our economic development," said Vicki Gardner, director of the SML Regional Chamber of Commerce. "This new infrastructure is a leap forward for our continued growth."