Local area gains millions from state budget

Published 5:26 pm Tuesday, November 30, 2021

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RALEIGH – With the governor’s signature finally affixed to the recently approved state budget, Roanoke-Chowan area counties are in store for millions in funding for long-awaited projects.

NC House District 5 Representative Howard Hunter III voted for the new budget. He said it will bring an unprecedented amount of funding to the District in the way of capacity, planning and infrastructure grants to local governments and non-profits in the amount of $4,220,000.

“Representing Tier I and Tier II counties where residential taxes make up over 50 percent of the county’s tax base, I am fully aware that every penny counts and is utilized primarily for mandated services,” said Rep. Hunter.

As a budget conferee, Rep. Hunter successfully negotiated funding to assist local governments and non-profits in building capacity to position themselves for additional grant funding in recreation, water/sewer infrastructure, downtown revitalization, etc.

Funding in the state budget includes the following:

Hertford County: $250,000 for a County Museum; $150,000 for a Gang Task Force; $150,00 for the Ahoskie Main Street Start Up Program; $150,000 for the Murfreesboro Main Street Start Up Program; $100,000 for the Town of Winton’s Wastewater Treatment Facility; $400,000 for Tri-County Airport; and $150,000 for Hertford County Middle School Capital Improvements

Gates County: $250,000 for renovations to the county’s Community Center; and $20,000 for the county’s Sheriff’s Office.

Pasquotank County: $250,000 for the River City CDC; $150,000 for the Elizabeth City Main Street Start Up Program; $200,000 for upgrades to the Elizabeth City Sewer System; $250,000 for Elizabeth City Sidewalks & Bike Paths Capital Improvements; $250,000 for Homeless Shelter Funding; and $1,500,000 for the Eastern NC Crime Lab – Planning Grant (at Elizabeth City State University).

There were also major investments in university infrastructure for District 5 with the following projects funded for Elizabeth City State University: $40 million for a new residence hall; $2.5 million for a sky bridge; $7.5 million for a new dining facility; and $34 million for a Flight School.

NC House District 27 Representative Michael Wray, who also voted for the budget, secured $19,025,000 in state funds for Northampton County. The majority of those funds ($14 million) are earmarked for a new courthouse in Jackson.

The budget also includes the conveyance of Odom Prison to Northampton County.

“Their vision is to have a juvenile detention facility,” Wray said in an interview with rrspin.com.

“I’m proud to be part of it to help make a better budget and I’m glad my colleagues saw that it’s going to make a difference and they voted for it. I’m glad the governor signed it instead of vetoing it. If he vetoed it the group was prepared to override it,” Wray added.


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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