04/27/05 — Interchange could bring 'lots of money' to Fremont

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Interchange could bring 'lots of money' to Fremont

By Jack Stephens
Published in News on April 27, 2005 1:52 PM

FREMONT -- Development of the new U.S. 117 and N.C. 222 interchange will bring "lots of money" to Fremont, Wayne County Manager Lee Smith told the town board Tuesday.

Smith told board members the town has more potential for development because of the new U.S. 117 bypass than any other community along the new four-lane expressway.

The town had invited Smith, County Planning Director Connie Price and Emergency Services Coordinator Joe Gurley to share advice about the interchange.

When the road is completed between Goldsboro and Wilson, Smith said Fremont will become a high-speed entrance to Wayne County. Wayne County's intent, he said, will be to bring traffic off Interstate 95 through the county and promote the road as a safer, southbound alternative.

Smith suggested the town form a partnership with the county in developing the area. He said the county's new land use plan should help avoid conflicts among the county and towns in zoning, housing, commercial development, industry and the environment.

"We want to try to mesh the zoning ordinances and county use plan," Smith said.

Alderman Billy Harvey said Fremont was in a good position with infrastructure already in place and then added, "I know we're going to grow."

Later the board unanimously passed Harvey's motion to develop the interchange.

"The town wants the interchange to be developed in a good manner," Town Administrator Kerry McDuffie said. "We need technical assistance from the county to make it happen. The town will do what it can."

Ms. Price suggested that the town should get the permits needed to put a sewer line on N.C. 222 before it becomes a necessity.

Gurley said he is concerned about safety issues on the new road because of the high speed limit. He said the divided highway will need crossovers so fire and rescue vehicles could reach traffic collisions as quickly as possible.

Smith said the commission wants to form a utilities committee to discuss countywide issues, but noted the county had no intention of taking over the water and sewer operations.

Gurley also said the county's communications system must be improved and that public safety workers cannot radio dispatchers from some areas. Smith said he was afraid of "an absolute failure" of the system.

In another matter, McDuffie told the board he should have proposals to repair sewer lines for rainwater infiltration by Monday. The board will discuss the plan at 5:30 p.m. May 4.

McDuffie said the repairs were needed because, in the last 12 months, the town sent an estimated 46 million gallons of rainwater to the Goldsboro sewer plant and paid $3.80 per thousand gallons for the water to be treated.

In other business:

* McDuffie asked the aldermen to prioritize requests for the 2005-06 budget so he can finish it. He said the town was much better off this year than last year when property taxes were increased 30 percent. Several aldermen suggested the board consider raised for town employees.

* The board discussed but took no further action after splitting the mowing contract for the two town cemeteries.