Council approves proposals

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 18, 2006

AHOSKIE – As the Town of Ahoskie moves forward towards economic growth, the need arises for its infrastructure to keep pace.

At Tuesday’s meeting, members of the Ahoskie Town Council approved three proposals n totaling nearly $27,000 n that will address future needs.

As a result of its recent retreat, Council members approved $6,200 to be spent to study the space needs for a proposed new police station.

“The good news is that the initial proposal was for $70,000 to complete this study,” Town Manager Tony Hammond said. “However, thanks to the persistence of Councilman (Ronald) Gatling and Police Chief (Troy) Fitzhugh, that price has been significantly reduced.”

The Wooten Company will handle the study, one from where they will determine the functional, sensory and square footage requirements to meet the current and future needs of the police department.

The study is estimated to take 45 days to complete.

Council members also approved spending $14,900 on infrastructure mapping (GIS). GIS is a computer technology that uses a geographic information system as an analytic framework for managing and integrating data, solving a problem or understanding a past, present or future situation.

Hammond noted the first phase of this multi-layered project will, upon completion, have electronic files of the town’s water, sewer, street and zoning infrastructure.

“This will soften the blow when senior department heads like Bryan Lewis decide to retire for real,” Hammond said of the town’s Director of Public Works who has come out of retirement to help the town until a new director is hired.

Hammond continued, “By using GIS, we will prevent the loss of important data and knowledge that Bryan has gained over the years.”

By compiling this geodatabase, Public Works employees can accurately and quickly address a problem as GIS will pinpoint cutoff valves while also maintaining information regarding the size, composition and depth of the water/sewer lines.

“This is a good investment in the future of the Town of Ahoskie,” Hammond noted.

The Wooten Company will also handle this project. It is expected to take six months to complete.

A third issue deals with an accurate and updated listing of the streets within Ahoskie. This $5,800 project will be paid with Powell Bill funds.

This project, also handled by the Wooten Company, will set-up a repair and maintenance schedule on the approximate 31 miles of streets maintained by the town. Also using GIS, the project will include mapping street names, centerlines, street widths and pavement materials.

There was no timeframe given by the Wooten Company in regards to how long it will take to complete this project.