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MICRO — The new utility business center and town hall that’s been under construction since April is almost complete and set to open for business, according to Micro Public Works Director Johnny Dixon
“Except for the landscaping and a few minor issues like the service window in the clerk’s office, we are about ready to go,” Dixon said on Thursday.
The 3,000 square-foot facility includes a town clerk office, lobby and bill-paying area, a meeting room, restrooms and a maintenance shop.
The center is located at 450 U.S 301 N. in Micro on property that was purchased from the McLaughlin estate heirs.
Smithfield-based R.D Braswell Construction Co. served as general contractor for the project.
The property, about 1,200 feet from the present town hall, encompasses 10 acres. Only one acre will be used for the new building.
The current town hall building will remain in its location at the intersection of U.S. 301 and West Main Street and will become the Micro Police Department’s headquarters. The police department has shared the building with the utility payment office for many years.
Construction of the new building was tied to an upgrade of the town’s water and sewer system that Dixon said is also nearing completion.
Dixon said the work required included repairing and replacing the main water line with 2-inch pipe upgraded from galvanized to PVC, replacing water meters and putting isolated meters on several hydrants.
The project’s total cost was $1,617,000 with $785,000 coming from a U.S. Department of Agriculture rural development grant and the remaining $832,000 coming in the form of a 2% interest loan that will be covered by a water rate adjustment for out-of-town customers. Officials say the work won’t result in a tax increase for Micro residents.
“This is something we have needed for a long time,” Mayor Jay Warren said.
“The old system had been installed in 1965 and was so old it was beginning to fail,” said Dixon. “We were continuing to spend more and more money to repair leaks. This is going to make our water and sewer system more effective.”
“I am excited we are getting a new building,” said Town Clerk Lisa Holland, whose office in the former building had become overrun with full file cabinets and boxes full of forms and documents.“This is going to give us a lot more room and more options and be better for our customers.”