Maggie distillery gets help from town, sanitary district
On July 11, Dave Angel’s plan to operate a 10,000 square-foot whiskey distillery on 1.7 acres at 3732 Soco Road in the heart of Maggie Valley got a boost from the Town Board and the Maggie Valley Sanitary District.
Elevated Mountain hopes to produce a full line of craft spirits, including bourbon, flavored moonshines and even vodka and, once open, sell them in a retail tasting room environment. However, dealing in such hazardous and flammable goods requires a robust sprinkler system, and the water pressure on the distillery’s side of Soco Road isn’t strong enough to supply his sprinklers.
Rules governing public water systems require pressure of 30 pounds per square inch for residential customers; Elevated Mountain receives 48 PSI, but the sprinkler system requires 100 PSI to operate.
On the other side of Soco Road, just across from Elevated Mountain, the pressure is 200 PSI according to the sanitary district, meaning someone will have to pay to bore under Soco Road in order to tap in to those high-pressure lines.
Angel decided to absorb the unexpected $20,000 cost of the bore, but approached Maggie Valley officials for help making the connection.
“When you finish the bore, you have to have the junction box to disperse it,” said Mayor Pro Tem Janet Banks. “The Maggie Valley Sanitary District was going to charge Dave Angel an additional $10,000 to put up the junction box. He came before the town to say, ‘Look, I’m going to absorb the cost of the bore, which is $20,000 — which I didn’t plan on. Can you help me a little with the junction box?’”
Banks said the town realized the junction box would also serve an adjoining vacant property that will likely see development one day, and recognized the opportunity to help Angel.
“It comes under the umbrella of economic development for the town, which this board wants to promote,” said Banks. “So what we decided is, we negotiated with the sanitary district to split the cost. In other words, the sanitary district will pay $5,000 and we’ll pay $5,000.”
She went on to call the situation “win-win” for both the town and the sanitary district, not to mention Angel’s craft distillery business.
“Now it will become a selling point for the vacant property, so the sanitary district essentially is not going to lose money in this deal, and neither is the town,” she said.