Land swap to provide for bathrooms near Erwin Linear Trail, Kiwanis Club Playground

Brad Hicks • Feb 12, 2013 at 11:37 AM

ERWIN — It’s a swap that Erwin Town Recorder Randy Trivette said will not only clean up some possible deed issues but will also provide added convenience to visitors to the Erwin Linear Trail and the Kiwanis Club Playground located along North Industrial Drive.

At Monday’s regular meeting, the town of Erwin Board of Mayor and Aldermen unanimously approved a property exchange between the Erwin Board of Public Utilities and the town on property near the wastewater treatment plant on North Industrial Drive.

Trivette said when Erwin Utilities purchased property years ago, information would be listed under the town’s name for deeding purposes. Now, when Erwin Utilities purchases property, the deed is registered under the Erwin Board of Public Utilities to maintain a distinction between the entity and the town.

But this distinction was not in place in 1988 when Erwin Utilities purchased property from the railroad around its wastewater treatment plant. When a survey on the Unicoi County Animal Shelter and Erwin Kiwanis Club playground properties was done, Trivette said the deed showed the property registered to the town, but the board of public utilities actually owns the section, which includes a portion of the Erwin Linear Trail.

“So in order to clean all this up from a deed standpoint because where it comes into play, even though we own them and it’s the same entity, in the comptroller’s eyes, when they look at it, we can’t take money out of Erwin Utilities’ fund and put into our general fund. ... So you have to keep those things separated. That’s why it’s separated on the audit, and it’s separated from electric, water and sewer and it’s separated from the general fund.”

To clean up the deed issue, Trivette said Erwin Utilities proposed swapping the land next to the wastewater treatment plant near the town’s old dog pound for land along the Linear Trail and at the Erwin Kiwanis playground. As part of the agreement, Trivette said Erwin Utilities will construct new restrooms near the Linear Trail and the playground.

“The Kiwanis Club that put the park in down there on our property wanted to put bathrooms in, but from a cost standpoint they chose not to,” Trivette said. “So this would actually accommodate that park and the Linear Trail.”

The board also unanimously approved a resolution authorizing Mayor Doris Hensley to sign an application for Community Development Block Grant funds for a sewer line rehabilitation project for the Erwin Housing Authority.

Trivette said the CDBG grants are competitive and the application needs to be submitted by month’s end. The town is seeking grant funding in of $365,000. The estimated cost of the sewer line project is $429,412, and the remaining $64,412 for the project would come from Erwin Utilities.

Curtis Morrison with auditing firm Rodefer Moss & Co. also provided the board with the town’s audit report for the fiscal year that ended June 30. Morris said auditors had no findings to report to the board, and the audit was approved by the board.

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