M’boro wastewater expansion moves forward

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 25, 2004

MURFREESBORO – On Wednesday, the Town of Murfreesboro moved one step closer to lifting its sewer moratorium as it closed a deal on 400+ acres of real property off U.S. 258 adjacent to its existing wastewater treatment plant.

The newly acquired land will allow the town to proceed with plans to construct additional land application units for the expansion of its wastewater facility.

Initially, the contract presented to the town excluded timber rights. However, after renegotiating the terms with representatives of International Paper, the landowners relinquished their rights, allowing the town full jurisdiction over the land.

In Tuesday’s meeting, members of the Town Council approved a resolution authorizing the Mayor to pursue supplemental funding through the North Carolina Rural Communities Assistance Project (NCRCAP).

The group, which is a statewide non-profit organization, offers assistance to towns on public health and environmental issues and has the potential to award some $400,000 in supplemental funding as a result of the provisions listed in the 1998 Critical Needs Bond Act.

The Act authorizes the making of loans and grants to aid eligible units of government in financing the cost of construction of wastewater treatment works, wastewater collection systems, water supply systems and water conservation projects.

The town is currently examining the pursuit of grant monies from other sources to aid in its wastewater expansion and in the process of completing the Rural Center’s application for supplemental funding. The deadline for submission is March 31 with results available sometime near the end of July.

If the Supplemental Grant is awarded, the town has agreed to a resolution committing local funds towards the completion of its wastewater project with $20,000 from the General Fund, $500,000 from a BB&T loan and $1,409,700 from the Division of Water Quality State Revolving Funds Loan.

&uot;The acquisition of the land just puts us one step closer to the removal of the sewer moratorium,&uot; said Town Administrator Molly Eubank, &uot;and one step further in the direction of economic growth and development that can better serve our residents.&uot;

In unrelated business, the town agreed to begin drawing down the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds from Division of Community Assistance (DCA) awarded to QUOLA for the development and construction of the Howard Hill Villas Subdivision.

The town was uncertain if it would be able to honor its commitment to allow the organization to hook up to its sewer system following the news of its sewer moratorium, but has since identified sources permitting additional taps for new construction to proceed.

The organization plans on constructing three units in 2004, 10 units in 2005 and seven units in 2006 to serve low to moderate-income families in the Murfreesboro area.