WASHINGTON — Wadesboro has been awarded $1.7 million in federal grants to improve the town’s water and sewer systems.
The grants were announced by U.S. Rep. Robert Pittenger, a Republican from Charlotte who represents North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District.
An $815,000 U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development grant will be used to improve Wadesboro’s water distribution system. The project includes installing 7,000 linear feet of 8- and 12-inch water main. The Town of Wadesboro also will receive a $706,000 USDA loan to assist with the project.
A $902,000 USDA Rural Development grant will be used to upgrade Wadesboro’s sewer system, which has exceeded its useful life and must be replaced. The project includes replacing the Coffin Hoist and Burns Street pump stations. The town also will receive a $2,189,000 USDA loan to assist with the project.
Wadesboro recently received two USDA grant/loans totaling $4.6 million to replace and improve water lines and sewer pumps.
The latest infusion of federal money will fund the replacement of about 7, 000 feet of existing water main with new lines, and the replacement and upgrading of two of the town’s existing sewer pump stations in order to better serve the sewer system and mitigate against any overflows that might occur, Town Manager David Edwards said.
“There are numerous areas throughout the town that the project will impact, and the specifics are being planned and designed even now, but the town does not anticipate any customers’ water and sewer service to be affected during the project,” Edwards said.
The effects for the town will be very positive, he said. The projects, once completed, will allow the town to save money on maintenance for the existing aging infrastructure and enable to focus town resources on other issues that may arise.
“Over the course of the next several months, our contracted engineering firm, LKC, will be planning and designing the details of the work needed to be performed,” Edwards said. “When that is complete the project will have to be advertised as available to be bid on by contractors, which will be followed by the construction period.”
The water project funding is 53 percent grant and 47 percent loan. The sewer project is 30 percent grant and 70 percent loan.
The projects were initiated in late 2015 by Alex Sewell, the former town manger, with the first real action being taken in early 2016 when an engineering firm was selected to draft proposed project estimates and to assist with writing the grant application. Project time since then has been spent gathering documents and submitting applications/revisions.
“We are extremely thankful for the partnership with the USDA in providing us this opportunity to be a part of their program,” Edwards said. “The grant money that they are contributing to this project, as well as the very low-interest loan, is going to help Wadesboro continue to serve its citizens at the highest level possible while maintaining a sound fiscal position.”
“Historic downtown Wadesboro is one of the hidden gems of North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District, and I take seriously my responsibility to represent and advocate for the citizens of Wadesboro,” Pittenger said. “These grants and loans will help ensure safe and clean drinking water, and hopefully the improved infrastructure will also lead to additional economic development opportunities.”