State Funding to Help Craven County Address Drinking Water Issues

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Many Craven County residents have expressed concern about the conditions of their drinking water. On Wednesday, Gov. Roy Cooper announced the state would help municipalities address the issue.

Cooper announced communities across the state 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 water is necessary for healthy families and thriving communities and businesses,” Cooper said. “The historic level of investment provided by the U.S. bailout will help build resilience, support economic growth in our state, and improve access to clean water in the communities that need it most.

The Water Infrastructure Division of the Department of Environmental Quality 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 at the state level, as well as $174,846,696 in funds that were earmarked in the state budget. State 2022-23, signed by Cooper on July 11.

“These funds will replace aging infrastructure and help public services 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 prices at the July 14 meeting. Funding for this round also came from the Viable Utility Reserve and the Drinking Water and Wastewater State Reserves, funded by American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds allocated to the state, and state revolving funds for drinking water and clean water. Projects funded from the Sustainable Utilities Reserve are subject to approval by the Local Government Commission.

Who gets what?

The funding that each municipality will receive will also go towards certain wastewater treatment projects. In Craven County, here are the cities and towns that will receive funding.

-City of Dover: $2,452,910 for the water main replacement project, $310,775 for the inventory and appraisal of sanitary sewer assets, $189,500 for the inventory and appraisal of assets of the water supply system, $812,700 for the improvement of water supply wells

-Town of Vanceboro: $150,000 for the inventory and assessment of water system assets

-Town of River Bend: $9,108,500 for sewage treatment plant upgrades, $150,000 for inventory and valuation of sewer system assets, and $150,000 for inventory and assessment of water system assets.

-City of Bridgeton: $335,000 for the inventory and evaluation of wastewater assets.

Editor Trevor Dunnell can be reached by email at [email protected] Please consider supporting local journalism by signing up for a digital subscription.

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