HAMLET — More than $12 million is coming to Richmond County for a variety of water projects.
That funding is part of the $462.9 million allocated for 249 projects in 80 communities across the state announced last week by Gov. Roy Cooper.
According to Cooper’s office, the state usually invests $200 million each year in water infrastructure projects. However, North Carolina is planning to spend $2.3 billion over the next two years using federal dollars from the American Rescue Plan and Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
“Every single North Carolinian deserves clean drinking water, and aging water systems are a threat to the health and economies of too many of our communities,” Cooper said in a statement. “Thanks to investments initiated by the Biden administration, we can make a once in a generation transformation in rebuilding water infrastructure for towns and counties throughout our state.”
The bulk of the local funding is coming to Hamlet.
The Seaboard City has been awarded a $10.3 million grant for water infrastructure.
“This project is mostly focused on the water treatment plant, and will include several crucial (and expensive) components such as raw water pumps, a new clearwell, replacing our main water filters, and other site safety improvements,” City Manager Matthew Christian said in an email to the RO. “The project also includes replacement of approximately 4,200 feet of galvanized steel and asbestos concrete water mains in East Rockingham.”
Hamlet was also awarded a $400,000 grant for a stormwater system study.
“The primary objective of the study is to provide an inventory of all system components, document the condition of all assets, and develop a system for future management of the assets,” Christian said. “This will include a full inventory report, capital improvement plan, stormwater system mapping, hydrologic and hydraulic modeling, and field inspections.”
Christian added that the plan will include both a short- and long-term funding strategy to meet the system’s needs and help the city be more competitive for future grant programs to implement the plan’s recommendations.
The town of Hoffman will get the next largest local allocation — $1,207,625 — for the second phase of its sewer system improvements.
Ellerbe was awarded $200,000 and the county $300,000 in Asset Inventory and Assessment grants for respective projects.
Last summer, Ellerbe was awarded nearly $3.5 million from the state Water Infrastructure Authority for the replacement of the waterline on Main Street.
In 2020, Ellerbe was awarded $2,097,000 in combined funding through a Wastewater State Reserve grant and loan and a Clean Water State Revolving fund loan for rehabilitation of its sewer system.
The town was also allocated $1.8 million from the state budget to pay off a USDA loan for its wastewater line.
“Investing in water infrastructure provides communities with reliable, affordable access to clean water and the opportunity for future economic growth,” N.C. Department of Environmental Quality Secretary Elizabeth S. Biser said. “The amount of funding requested highlights the extensive need for infrastructure investment across North Carolina.”