21 million reasons to smile!

Published 5:35 pm Tuesday, December 12, 2023

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JACKSON – Michael Wray, who serves as the NC House Representative for District 27, visited the Northampton County Board of Commissioners at their meeting on Dec. 4 to present them with funds that were allocated in the most recent state budget.

Lawmakers approved the 2023-2024 state budget back in September. Northampton County received over $21 million from the budget. $18.6 million was allocated for county water/sewer projects, and $2.5 million will be used for the Detention Center.

“I just want to thank you for giving me the opportunity to serve you and be a part of a team,” Wray said. “Working together works for our community to make it a better place.”

Rep. Wray noted that between this state budget and the previous state budget over the past three years, they had been able to secure funding all across the county, including every municipality.

In addition to the funds for the county projects, Wray was also able to get state allocations for various fire departments, towns, and other local organizations.

Those funds include $500,000 for Conway Volunteer Fire Department (VFD), $250,000 for Garysburg VFD, $400,000 for Lasker VFD, $220,000 for Rich Square VFD, and $500,000 for Woodland VFD.

The town of Lasker will receive $100,000 and Woodland will receive $3.8 million for water/sewer infrastructure. Jackson will receive $1 million for a new deep well.

Funds were also allocated to Pine Forest Rest Home, the Northampton County Museum, Lake Gaston Community Center, and Lake Gaston Weed Council.

Wray also added that the state budget included funds for a new position in the Northampton County Clerk of Court office as well as a Public Defender’s office, which will be based in the county but also serve the whole judicial district (Hertford, Bertie, and Halifax counties).

“Never have I seen Northampton County receive these kinds of funds, to do things for the citizens of our county,” said Board Chair Charles Tyner as he thanked Rep. Wray for the presentation.

Tyner added that the state funding makes it easier to complete necessary projects without having to raise local taxes.

Commissioner Geneva Faulkner read a list of previous grants and appropriations that the county has also received. Those from previous state budgets include $14 million for the new county courthouse, $18 million for the Gaston wastewater extension, and 70 acres/11 workforce housing units at the former Odom Prison site.

Wray concluded his presentation by emphasizing that it’s an honor to bring these funds back home to Northampton County’s communities.