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Sierra Nevada to landscape, light roundabout

MILLS RIVER — Sierra Nevada plans to light, dress up and maintain the roundabout that workers and visitors will see when they first approach the brewery property at Ferncliff Industrial Park.

The Mills River Town Board last month agreed to apply on behalf of the brewing company and the industrial park for permits for lighting and landscaping of the roundabout, which the DOT designed for smooth traffic flow and separation of employees, truckers, visitors and through traffic.
"It is our understanding that NCDOT will approve these lighting improvements if the applicant is a municipality or another public entity," brewery co-manager Stan Cooper said in a letter to Mills River mayor Roger Snyder. The same is true of the roundabout planting.
"The roundabout has a large, relatively flat grassed area in the center which provides an excellent opportunity for colorful landscaping to add to the visitor experience at the brewery," Cooper said. "Sierra Nevada expects to fully fund the cost of the installation of these plant materials and to maintain them throughout the years to come."
Landscape architects Design Workshop of Asheville has designed a roundabout planting of year-round color that includes blue star, cosmo, narrow leaf sunflower, Siberian iris, corn poppy and Shenandoah switchgrass.
Sierra Nevada's lighting consultant designed 25-foot LED street lights to DOT standards. The brewing company also plans to install and maintain the light fixtures at no cost to the town of Mills River, Cooper said.