County approves water/sewer line, review new EMS base | News

Monday night the Transylvania County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved an agreement with the town of Rosman to extend water and sewer services along Island Ford Road, which will connect back to the Rosman system.

The need for the connection was deemed necessary for Gaia Herbs facilities on Island Ford Road and U.S. 64 to continue to grow. Funding for the project will be provided though $4.2 million in infrastructure grants and American Rescue Plan Act funds with all assets to be turned over to the town of Rosman when the extension loop is completed.

“It’s another project that has been in the works for a long time that supports our local businesses” said Commissioner Larry Chapman before voting for the agreement. “It’s critical. We know what the results could have been had we not been able to find this option to help out Gaia Herbs and I support it 100 percent.”

“I would encourage us to take a look with our Planning Board some potential planning up and down this corridor as time moves forward because clearly as water and sewer is added to the corridor we are going to see a lot of attention and some movement with properties that have been held for years with potential large tracts being sold,” added Commissioner David Guice.

The contract for the total project including alternates for crossovers was awarded to the lowest bidder, Hyatt Pipeline LLC, at a price of $5,487,213, and officials have obtained almost all the easements needed to begin the 18-month construction process.

New EMS Main

Station on Morris Road

County officials also unveiled a new look for the proposed main station for Transylvania County Emergency Medical Services (TCEMS). The sale of the current 1,961-square-foot EMS Base off Asheville Highway has been completed and architects have presented preliminary building designs for the new 10,725-square-foot facility at 545 Morris Road near the county’s Public Safety Facility.

Total projected costs for the new EMS base range between $4.1 million and $4.5 million. Officials have planned for this new location for several years because the present main base is too small and the new facility will be easier for larger emergency vehicles to use.

“It will provide good access for our EMS staff to respond in many different directions,” Assistant County Manager David McNeil explained to commissioners detailing the five traditional ambulance bays and an additional separate vehicle bay. “It’s much better than what we have now because there is going to be more room to be able to turn around, square up and get in there easier.”

McNeil added the new location should also improve safety in other parts of the county.

“This particular EMS base will probably improve response times in North Transylvania and the Little River districts,” he said.

Commissioner David Guice suggested asking N.C. Department of Transportation officials for emergency signage or lighting to alert traffic on Morris Road when an emergency call was in progress.

“It certainly is a possibility to talk to them about a caution light at that intersection that maybe we could activate or would be activated by equipment,” McNeil responded. “There are different options we could talk to them about.”

The new design will be further reviewed and modified before construction bids are received for another three months and a year-long construction timeframe is expected to start. During that time emergency services will temporarily relocate to a shared facility with the Transylvania County Rescue Squad on Fisher Road.

“I think this is something it is well past time for us to do, and I know staff are excited about being able to move into something like this,” said Chairman Jason Chappell.

In other developments, commissioners:

•reviewed staffing and lease options for the Transylvania County Tourism Development Authority (TDA) as it continues to transition into a separate entity from the Brevard/Transylvania Chamber of Commerce effective July 1. County officials are reviewing plans to lease the second floor of the Visitor’s Center on East Main Street for three full-time employees for another year, but no decisions were made as commissioners will wait for additional updates after the next TDA meeting.

•accepted a $1.5 million Golden LEAF Foundation community based grant to fund the second phase of expanding the Sylvan Valley Industrial Complex on Ecusta Road. This second phase will add 40,000 square feet of light manufacturing space and create at least 20 jobs at the facility. Commissioners authorized committing $3,754,195 to initiate the start of the project.

“There were some items on tonight’s agenda that will have a tremendous impact on our community for generations,” Chappell said before the board went into closed session to discuss personnel issues. “These are some very major items that our citizens can be very proud of and it’s going to fundamentally move our community forward.”

Jonathan Rich may be reached at (828) 883-8156 or at

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