Powell sworn in as Bailey commissioner

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BAILEY — Town commissioners welcomed the Rev. Ervin Powell as their newest colleague Monday evening, filling the panel’s only vacancy.

Mayor Thomas Richards administered the oath of office while Powell’s wife, Necola, held the Bible. Many congregants from Powell’s church were in attendance.

“It’s good to have you on board,” said Commissioner Joel Killion.

Powell immediately took his seat at the board table, taking part in the board’s closed session discussions.

Prior to Powell’s swearing-in, Mike Tolson from Mack Gay Associates, a civil engineering and surveying firm based in Rocky Mount, spoke with the board about the approval of an asset inventory and assessment drinking water grant. The firm applied for the grant on the town’s behalf in the fall, and the grant was awarded last month.

“We’ll use this grant money to provide critical asset inventory assessment of the drinking water infrastructure within the town,” Tolson said.

The funds will be used to develop a geographic information systems database, a 10-year capital improvement plan and an asset management plan, something Richards said the town has not had since 2013.

“This information is very vital if we ever want to get off the sewer moratorium. They ask to see if you’ve got an asset plan. We don’t have one,” Richards said.

Richards read through the monthly report from Raleigh-based public works contractor Envirolink. He highlighted the portion that discussed the water and sewer grant awarded to the town for a total of $300,000 to upgrade its filtration system. The report said the company was in the process of coordinating equipment and personnel needs to fulfill the project’s scope and wanted to request a grant extension with the state, suggesting the project would not be completed by September as discussed.

“This grant was awarded — it was filed for in 2016, we were awarded in 2017 and nothing’s been done on it since,” Richards said.

After closed session, the board decided to terminate its current agreement with Envirolink to fulfill the water and sewer grant agreements and opted to hire Mack Gay Associates to fulfill the grants instead.

In other business, the board approved a motion to work with the Bailey Chamber of Commerce to develop terms and conditions to save and restore the dilapidated hardware building. Commissioners decided to accept a bid from ABC Paving to pave Jackson Street for $11,700 and Nash Street for $13,200.

The board also approved a motion to buy a $799 gun safe for the police department.