The Town of North Wilkesboro received N.C. Local Government Commission approval of a $1.48 million loan from the state toward the cost of constructing a 500,000-gallon water tower last week.

Town Manager Wilson Hooper said town officials are still waiting to hear what the interest rate will be, but added that it won’t be over 2 ¾% and hopefully won’t be over 1 ½%.

Speaking during the Wilkes Economic Development Corp. board meeting Friday morning, Hooper said LGC approval of the financing through a state revolving loan fund was the water tower project’s last significant hurdle.

He said the loan is to be paid back over 20 years with water/sewer collections.

North Wilkesboro also received a $580,000 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) from the N.C. Department of Commerce and $200,000 from the Golden LEAF Foundation to fund the water tank.

The North Wilkesboro commissioners approved a $2.26 million bid in November submitted by Avon, Ind.-based Phoenix Fabricators and Erectors LLC. Phoenix is expected to start construction of the multicolumn, 140-foot-tall tower after a groundbreaking ceremony in about two weeks and finish the project in the spring of 2022.

The water tank is designed provide better water pressure for fire safety sprinkler systems for an $8 million expansion of JELD-WEN’S door-skin (exterior facing) manufacturing operation in the industrial park. This include adding at least 29 jobs.

The water tank will improve water pressure elsewhere in the industrial park and improve hydraulics of the town water system from River Road-Liberty Grove Road to N.C. 268 East. That area is currently served by an elevated storage tank and 12-inch water main off Flint Hill Road.

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