Fuquay-Varina moves forward with new public works site

aramos@newsobserver.comJanuary 30, 2014 

— Two garbage trucks traveling in opposite directions met at the entrance of Fuquay-Varina’s public works facility on the 500 block on North Main Street. The problem: The entrance wasn’t wide enough for both trucks to pass.

So one backed up, letting the other through.

Conditions inside the public works facility aren’t much better.

Trucks and equipment sit outside, exposed to the elements, because there is no indoor storage. The old television set has rabbit ears, showing employees a semi-fuzzy version of the news. Insulation is tacked inside the walls in an attempt to keep the aging and outdated building warm.

Fuquay-Varina has needed a new public works facility for years. About two years ago, the Fuquay-Varina Board of Commissioners set aside roughly $2 million for construction and design costs for a new building and storage area.

Now the project is starting to see some progress.

In November, the town paid about $340,000 for 16 acres on Holland Drive to build a new facility.

On Monday, commissioners will consider whether to move forward with a request for design proposals. On Feb, 18, the town will have a public hearing on whether to annex the property into town limits.

The public works department handles street and sidewalk repairs in town. Workers clean and sweep the streets and hang town decorations for holidays. The department also oversees trash, recycling and yard-debris collection.

The department is currently located on “The Hill,”underneath the water tower on North Main Street. The facility was built around the late 1930s, when the town took over the property, said town spokeswoman Susan Weis.

“The new facility will allow the town to use one facility for multiple operations,” she said. “Now you have people spread out at The Hill, the property on (Kenneth Branch Drive) and supervisors at Town Hall. It will allow for efficiencies and effectiveness.”

About 24 public works employees in the streets and sanitation divisions are at the current site. The new facility will house about 75 staffers in the public works, public utilities and parks and recreation departments, Weis said.

There will also be room for indoor equipment storage, and the new place will have an entrance big enough for vehicles to pass.

It’s unclear when construction will begin.

Ramos: 919-460-2609; Twitter: @AlianaCaryNews

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