Project gains another grant

Published 11:19 am Friday, April 13, 2012

GATESVILLE – Four for four.

Gates County, in an effort to improve its economic future, has received a fourth grant to help pay for a wastewater project that will serve the new Merchants Commerce Center and nearby areas along US 158.

On Tuesday, county officials were notified that CDBG (Community Development Block Grant) had awarded an economic development grant in the amount of $350,000 to assist in providing a sewer line to an adult care facility planned for construction within the Commerce Center.

“At this point we do not have an official announcement from the company that will open that adult care facility, but we do have a legally binding agreement from them to provide 50 full-time jobs,” said Graham Twine, Chairman of the Gates County Board of Commissioners. “Hopefully they will make their official announcement by sometimes next month.”

To date, the county has received $2.15 million in grant funding for the initial phase of the wastewater project. The total price tag of that phase is expected to be in the $2.8 million range.

“The discussion over this project began nearly four years ago and has been a work in progress since that time,” Twine stated. “The board of commissioners wanted to move forward and improve the quality of life for our citizens as well as encouraging new business to locate here that will reduce the tax burden on our citizens. The awarding of this latest grant is another part of the process, another building block, and we’re grateful to CDBG for investing in the future of our county.”

At a recent meeting the commissioners awarded a $920,000 contract to H.G. Reynolds Company of Henderson for the installation of sewer lines. That work, which could get underway as early as this week, will include all piping to the Commerce Center, the sewer pump station back to the treatment plant (located behind the now closed Gates County Correctional Facility) and pipes to Cotton Gin Road. The contract calls for that work to be completed in 200 days.

The remainder of the $2.8 million will be used to for improvements at the wastewater treatment plant, including doubling its capacity to 50,000 gallons per day.

“We haven’t bid out that phase of the project as of yet, but if the preliminary numbers we have hold true, 75 percent of the funding for this project will be paid for by grants,” said Gates County Manager Toby Chappell.

Along with the $350,000 from CDBG, Gates County has received $900,000 from the Economic Development Administration, $700,000 from the North Carolina Rural Center and $200,000 from the Golden LEAF Foundation.

“These are all the grants we’ve applied for to date and each time we have been successful,” Chappell said. “We owe that success to our grant writer, Mike Scott. He has proven as a great asset to Gates County. He’s extremely capable of identifying grant funding sources and then writing the grant applications.”

CDBG is part of the North Carolina Department of Commerce.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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