R-C area gains water/ wastewater funding

Published 5:20 pm Friday, July 29, 2022

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RALEIGH – Governor Roy Cooper announced on Wednesday that communities statewide will receive a record $789.4 million in water and wastewater infrastructure funding to help pay for 385 projects statewide, including 140 construction projects.

“Clean drinking water is necessary for healthy families and thriving communities and businesses,” said Cooper. “The historic level of investment provided by the American Rescue Plan will help increase resiliency, support economic growth in our state and improve access to clean water in the communities that need it most.”

Two of the highest-value grants were awarded locally.

Bertie County Water District IV will receive $4,912,611 for a water replacement system in the Lewiston Woodville community.

The Town of Ahoskie was awarded $4,195,900 for a

water system rehabilitation project.

Asset Inventory Assessment grants were awarded locally to:

Bertie County Water District IV ($247,000) for the Lewiston Woodville community;

Town of Conway ($150,000) for its Drinking Water Distribution System;

Town of Conway ($150,000) for its Wastewater Collection System;

Town of Woodland ($150,000) for its water system; and

Northampton County ($150,000) for its sewer system.

The Department of Environmental Quality’s Division of Water Infrastructure received more than 700 applications from 94 of North Carolina’s 100 counties, requesting more than $3.1 billion. This funding round included the first awards of American Rescue Plan Act water and wastewater funding on the state level, as well as $174,846,696 in funds that were appropriated in the 2022-23 state budget, signed by Governor Cooper on July 11, 2022.

“These funds will replace aging infrastructure and help utilities remain viable, which benefits the health and economic well-being of communities across our state,” said DEQ Secretary Elizabeth S. Biser.

The State Water Infrastructure Authority approved the awards during the July 14 meeting. Funding this round also came from the Viable Utility Reserve and the Drinking Water and Wastewater State Reserves, funded from American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds allocated to the State, and the Drinking Water and Clean Water State Revolving Funds. Projects funded from the Viable Utility Reserve are conditional upon approval by the Local Government Commission.

The Authority is an independent body with primary responsibility for awarding federal and state funding for water and wastewater infrastructure projects. Other responsibilities include developing a state water infrastructure master plan, recommending ways to maximize the use of available loan and grant funding resources, and examining best and emerging practices.

The application period for the next round of funding for water and wastewater infrastructure projects, which will include the first ARPA stormwater funding, ends on Sept. 30 at 5:00 p.m. The application training schedule is available at: https://deq.nc.gov/about/divisions/water-infrastructure/i-need-funding.