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Ahoskie supports HCPS project

AHOSKIE – The plan is falling into place.

During a recent Ahoskie Town Council meeting, the board voted 5-0 to support the Hertford County Public School Apartment Project.

That plan, one which will help attract and retain quality teachers, has been in the works for three years through a joint effort between Hertford County Public Schools and the North Carolina State Employees Credit Union Foundation (SECU).

Now, with major corporations such as Nucor and Perdue Farms onboard plus a long list of project accomplishments over the past three years, the plan stands ready to move forward. However, it needed the support of the Town of Ahoskie to take the next critical step.

Last week, the Town Council assisted in that effort by agreeing to invest an estimated $146,000 of water and sewer infrastructure improvements to the property, located across from Bearfield Primary School. That area has been donated and designated by the Hertford County Commissioners to be turned over to HCPS to be used for the purpose of constructing a 20-unit (40 bedrooms) apartment complex.

Additionally, Council members designated the first 5,000 gallons of added wastewater treatment capacity generated by its recently approved $1.75 million I&I (Infiltration and Inflow) project to the apartment complex.

“We are losing our quality teachers to other school systems who are able to offer more perks,” Dennis Deloatch, HCPS Superintendent, said during his presentation to Town Council.

He continued, “We need your assistance in helping to open this apartment complex. It is through such donations to this project that we are able to hold down construction costs and, in turn, use those savings to offer affordable rental housing that will attract quality teachers.”

Accompanying Deloatch at last week’s meeting was James Eure, president of the Hertford County Schools Foundation as well as manager of the SECU office in Ahoskie. Eure informed Council members that the SECU Foundation is committing $2 million to the apartment complex.

“The Credit Union Foundation is fully committed to this project,” Eure said. “They have agreed to help build the complex as a means to assist in attracting and retaining quality teachers in Hertford County.”

But before the project was able to take its next step, it needed a commitment from the Town of Ahoskie, one that was granted by the Town Council.

That commitment includes a $75,000 sewer lift station, 660 feet of force main pipe ($3,960), 2,050 feet of 6” water line ($36,900) and two road crossings ($500 each). Additionally, the town committed to fund the engineering and contingency fees ($29,215).