Grants have been secured to assist Weyerhaeuser with how it rids its wastewater.
The Surry County Economic Development Partnership announced Friday that Surry County has been awarded three grants totaling $755,900 for the sewer expansion project. The grants will allow Yadkin Valley Sewer Authority (YVSA) to construct a sewer line extension project to serve the Weyerhaeuser Oriented Strand Board (OSB) facility in Elkin, according to a release.
According to the release, grants have been awarded from the Appalachian Regional Commission in the amount of $300,000, the Industrial Development Fund in the amount of $255,900 and the Golden LEAF Foundation in the amount of $200,000. Surry County will contribute $85,300 and Weyerhaeuser will invest $1,200,000 on their property to connect onto the sewer line. Together, this represents a public/private investment of $2,041,200.
As reported in early 2013, Weyerhaeuser facilitated discussions with the YVSA, county and state officials to urge support for the sewer expansion project.
According to Weyerhaeuser, the project will expand critical infrastructure needs to Weyerhaeuser’s property line. YVSA plans to install about 11,500 linear feet of six inch or larger force main, a pump station, and associated appurtenances. Weyerhaeuser will invest $1.2 million to establish a pretreatment process and connect onto the sewer line at their property line. The project will allow municipal wastewater treatment service for the facility.
“The sewer extension project is a critical improvement for our operations,” said Mill Manager Debbie Tadlock. “The connection helps us remain competitive and focus on safely making quality products and providing good jobs in our community.”
For its wastewater, Weyerhaeuser uses spray fields. Spray distribution of wastewater is a means of dispersing effluent to the soil surface. Surface application of effluent is a relatively high risk dispersal method due to potential human contact with odors, contaminants, and pathogens.
“We continue to manage the spray field. However, the spray field is aging out. They’re coming to the end of life,” said spokesperson Nancy Thompson of Weyerhaeuser.
Weyerhaeuser employs 134 in Elkin and has operated the OSB facility in Surry County since 1986. According to estimates, its employment base resides throughout the Yadkin Valley; 46 percent (Surry County), 25 percent (Wilkes County), 22 percent (Yadkin County), 7 percent are from other counties.
“We are excited that this sewer extension project will allow Weyerhaeuser to continue operations and hopefully grow here in Surry County in the future. The county commissioners are pleased that they could assist Weyerhaeuser and the Yadkin Valley Sewer Authority in securing the necessary grants to move this project forward,” said Eddie Harris, chairman of the Surry County Board of Commissioners.
LeeAnn Stokes, vice president of Surry County Economic Development Partnership, said, “We are extremely grateful for the granting entities, the local, state, regional and federal support received from government representatives, and the Yadkin Valley Sewer Authority. This is an exciting project and a perfect example of public-private partnership coming together to provide a solution for Weyerhaeuser’s infrastructure needs. We truly want them to remain a strong industry in Surry County.”
Anthony Gonzalez may be reached at 336-835-1513 or on Twitter @newsgonz.