Funding sought for rural water districts

Published 4:55 pm Tuesday, September 13, 2022

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WINTON – Hertford County officials will proceed with submitting the first round of required paperwork that may lead to project funding for its rural water districts.

The American Rescue Plan has grant/loan funds available through the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality’s Water Infrastructure Section. The eligibility criteria for these grants or loans range from planning and design to actual construction of water and wastewater projects.

At their scheduled meeting here Sept. 6, County Manager David Cotton informed the county’s Board of Commissioners of the funding potential.

“This is a way to tap into and use federal dollars to our advantage,” Cotton stated, adding that the exact mix of grant and loan dollars has yet to be determined.

“Our initial step in the process is to submit an application and they’ll tell us if we qualify for a 100 percent grant or a 60-40 or 50-50 match,” Cotton added. “We can decide at that point if it’s advantageous for us to move forward.”

Hertford County Public Works Director Stanley Lassiter told the commissioners that one of the projects that could potentially benefit from an infusion of these dollars is in the Southern Rural Water District.

“We’ve been talking about the needs of a water tower in the area of Early Station Road because the water pressure is very low out that way,” Lassiter stated. “Fire suppression is a hazard in that area. You can turn on a [fire] hydrant out there and you can step on the fire hose and cut off the flow of water, the pressure is that low.”

Lassiter added that a growing number of residents in that area have compounded the problem with water pressure.

“The system isn’t what it was 20 years ago,” Lassiter stressed. “It’s time for some upgrades, to include the water tower, booster pump stations, and new water lines in places where we don’t currently have water lines.”

The commissioners motioned to approve Cotton and Lassiter moving forward with submitting a resolution to NC DEQ stating the county’s intent to complete an application for the funds.

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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