The town of Wadesboro has big plans for the $18,638 grant it received earlier this month.
The grant, provided by the N.C. Rural Economic Development Center, will be used to map and devise an asset management plan for the town’s water system.
The town received its award letter at the beginning of the month and is still in the beginning stages of the administration process. It will take a while to show results, according to Mary Beck, Anson County economic development director.
Currently, the town has a very old, inaccurate water map made in 1957. The only other map is one made in 1920, in addition to careful mini-maps and notes kept by the public services employees as they add new valves, pipes and other items. A mapping update is a priority for the town, Beck said. “The mapping project will provide a base for allowing the Town to develop a future hydraulic model and gain additional insight to determine flow and pressure issues,” she said via email. “It will also provide the base for determining areas of concern for water quality issues within the system. The mapping system will add areas that have taken precedence due to the size, age, and deterioration of lines and the overall infrastructure needs with regards to both water and sewer.” The new map will be digital and probably have GPS compatibility, according to Public Services Director Hugh James.
The town’s capital improvements plan (CIP) is also due for an update. The town’s last plan was created in 2002 and identified projects and equipment projects, as well as funding options. Many of the projects listed in the old CIP have been completed and new projects and financing options for them need to be identified.
The CIP will identify the town’s water and sewer infrastructure and capital needs and strategic growth, as well as routine maintenance and the upkeep of existing facilities, according to Beck. All findings and recommendations will be provided with cost estimates, alternatives, and priority ranking for inclusion in the Capital Improvement Plan. The mapping update will support these efforts and provide a valuable tool for the town’s use in managing the system, according to Beck.
The town also needs an updated asset management plan. Whereas a CIP tells the town what projects and finances are needed, the asset management plan lists what resources are available to complete the projects listed in the CIP. The asset management plan will provide a financial plan for the Town to strategically plan for current and future water system needs. “This grant funding will be used to incorporate the Town’s Water System Efficiency Provisions in accordance with the requirements of the Drought Bill,” Beck said.
The town will contract LKC Engineering from West End, N.C. for the entire project. The old 2002 plan was completed by HDR. This, and contracting to complete the actual projects, is good for the town’s economy. “It creates a snowball effect,” Beck said. “People come here to work on the projects and they eat at local restaurants, stay in local lodging, buy their project materials locally, et cetera.”
The grant is a 50/50 grant, meaning that the Rural Center will contribute $18,638 and the town will match that contribution. The funding for the Rural Center comes from appropriations of the N.C. General Assembly and state Clean Water Bonds.