The City of Blue Ridge has been diligently working on updating the water infrastructure in the city. They have laid out plans for removing galvanized piping and replacing it with PVC, widening and replacing water lines and improving water drainage along East Main Street.
One of the first residential areas which will receive improved water service is in the Orchard Blvd/Ridge Street area. Currently, the area has galvanized pipes. Since these pipes are old and rusty, residents see reddish-hued water and smell and taste rust when they turn on their water. Also, the pipes are too narrow to produce proper water pressure for fire hoses. This means that Orchard Blvd./ Ridge Ave. has gone without complete fire service for a long time.
The City Council started working on the grant over a year ago and will get the money through a Community Development Block Grant which is sponsored by the US government. Delays in completing the grant we caused reluctance of some business owners to fill out economic impact forms and incorrect information about who owns ditches within the area.
Finally, all the information came together at the Blue Ridge City Council March 26 Special Called meeting. They voted to submit the grant and, if the grant is improved, be able to start work this summer.
Matt Smith of Carter and Sloope Engineering Firm will oversee the project (Carter and Sloope provide engineering services for many Fannin County infrastructure improvement projects). Mr. Smith says that the project will cause some pockets of street repair. He will also keep large machinery on the street to a minimum to reduce street damage.