Feb. 18--GRAHAM -- The Alamance County Board of Commissioners agreed Monday to allow Alley, Williams, Carmen and King Inc. to conduct a feasibility study of the old landfill site in Swepsonville to determine whether it could support a regional training center for law enforcement and emergency workers.
A site in Saxapahaw off Austin Quarter Road which Sheriff Terry Johnson previously considered for the regional training center was eliminated as a potential site by the county commissioners and will not be part of the feasibility study. The potential site in Saxapahaw was eliminated because when the county purchased the land, it was agreed at the time between the county and former owners of the land that the property would continue to be used for agricultural use in the future, according to county officials. Commissioner Bill Lashley said he believed the county should honor this agreement.
Twenty-five people, including Mike Holland, Mike Harwood, and Sue Dayton of Saxapahaw, spoke during the public comment period at the board meeting against placing a regional training center Saxapahaw. Their concerns included issues over noise pollution, environmental impacts, and how a regional training center would negatively affect the overall quality of life of residents and visitors,
Before a vote was taken by the board, Commissioner Tim Sutton asked what the project might cost. Johnson said he believed it would cost $5 million to $7 million to construct, and that the center would require as much as 40 acres.
Sutton said the county needed to "be fair where we place infrastructure when it's not mandated."
The feasibility study of the old landfill site in Swepsonville will cost $7,500, according to County Manager Craig Honeycutt. Another noise safety study will be conducted by Alley, Williams, Carmen and King Inc., which will cost an additional $7,500.
Johnson proposes building a training center with firing range, driving track, fire towers and classrooms staffed with Alamance Community College teachers. Police, firefighters and EMS personnel could train there and get certifications.
Johnson said planning for the center remains in a preliminary phase and no decisions have been made on where the center might be developed.
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