NC Communities receives $ 282 million for water and sewer improvement projects
RALEIGH: Governor Roy Cooper today announced $ 282 million in loans and grants to help fund 94 drinking water and wastewater projects statewide.
Funding for the project was approved during the National Authority for Hydraulic Infrastructure February 10 meeting. The Authority is an independent body whose primary responsibility is to allocate federal and state funding for water and wastewater infrastructure projects. Other responsibilities include developing a national water infrastructure master plan, recommending ways to maximize the use of available funding resources in the form of loans and grants, and reviewing emerging best practices. .
“Communities in North Carolina need resilient and viable water infrastructure systems to support economic development. Funding for these projects helps counties and cities with aging water infrastructure provide clean, safe water to attract new jobs and keep people healthy, ”said Governor Cooper.
Notable projects from the last funding round include:
- Brunswick County will receive a state reserve grant of $ 2,852,818 to pay for the complete rehabilitation of the Navassa sewer system. Brunswick County will also receive $ 2,218,967 as part of a loan from the State Revolving Drinking Water Fund, with 100% return of principal, for the complete refurbishment of the Navassa drinking water system. . Navassa recently consolidated with the County of Brunswick.
- Lumberton, in Robeson County, will receive $ 2,316,900 through additional additional funding for the Disaster Relief Act of 2019 (ASADRA) for the construction of three wells outside the floodplain, replacing three wells in the floodplain that are prone to flooding.
- Davie County will receive $ 21,123,807 in funding to expand its Cooleemee water treatment plant, promote regionalization and replace the Hugh A. Lagle water treatment plant in Mocksville.
- Goldsboro, in Wayne County, will receive $ 1,268,000 in remission loan funding from Principal ASADRA to consolidate the Big Cherry Pumping Station and move the Little Cherry Pumping Station out of the 100-year-old floodplain.
A list of all statewide funded projects by city and / or county is available at State Water Infrastructure Authority Funding Summary February 2021.
Grants and loans are funded through the State Revolving Fund for Drinking Water loan program, the State Revolving Fund for Drinking Water loan program, reserve programs State for Drinking Water and Wastewater and through the Disaster Relief Supplementary Supplementary Appropriations Act 2019 (or ASADRA). ASADRA funding provides for projects focused on resilience in drinking water facilities and wastewater treatment facilities affected by Hurricanes Florence and Michael. The state has provided more than $ 17 million in required matching funds. Prices in this round also include inventory and valuation of assets and funding for merger / regionalization feasibility, which comes from state subsidies.
Reliable water and sewer systems are essential to the state’s quality of life and to its economic and environmental future. Studies show that North Carolina needs $ 17-26 billion to upgrade its water and sewer infrastructure statewide. As stated in the summary document of funding grants, the amount of funding requested by North Carolina cities in this funding round alone, $ 850 million, far exceeded the $ 282.3 million in funding available for this cycle – strong evidence of the need for ‘additional funding.
At another meeting of the State Water Infrastructure Authority, the Authority approved the distressed unit designation for four cities: Askewville (Bertie County), Robersonville (Martin County), Ronda (Wilkes County) ) and Wilkesboro (Wilkes County) for a total of eight cities approved to date with this designation. At the Authority’s November meeting, Bethel (Pitt County), Eureka (Wayne County), Kingstown (Cleveland County) and Cliffside (Rutherford County) were identified as being in distress.
The Authority will consider an additional 110 local government units for designation at a subsequent meeting. In the meantime, cities will have the opportunity to share additional information that may influence their assessment. Designations are based on unit in distress criteria approved by the Authority at its November meeting and developed in collaboration with the Local Authorities Commission (LGC). The criteria were used to assess 496 local communities with water and / or sewage systems. This determination is an important first step in a more thorough assessment of the status of the public service. In addition, it is a factor in the allocation of $ 9 million in funding made available by the Sustainable Utility Reserves legislation, Session Law 2020-79, promulgated by Governor Roy Cooper in July 2020.
Kim Colson, chairman of the Authority and director of the Water Infrastructure Division, pointed out that for any unit identified in the assessment, that city may face widespread problems in the state. “Many municipalities are struggling, and this struggle is symptomatic of the general state of the rural economy and the challenges of managing aging infrastructure problems and associated costs. The number of units that initially met the criteria indicates the significant need for funding. “
HOW TO APPLY FOR THE NEXT ROUND OF WATER AND WASTEWATER FUNDING
The application period for the Authority’s next round of funding for water and wastewater infrastructure projects ends on April 30. The Water Infrastructure Division will be holding virtually available training sessions on March 2 and 5 for applicants interested in applying for the next round of funds. The training program and instructions for registering and participating virtually via WebEx are available at https://files.nc.gov/ncdeq/WI/2021-Spring-Training-Announcement-FINAL-1-28-21.pdf