Archived Story

City pursues sewer-project funds

Published 5:17pm Thursday, March 20, 2014

Washington’s City Council is scheduled to conduct two public hearings during its meeting Monday, including one concerning the city seeking grant funds to help pay for two proposed infrastructure project.

The council’s tentative agenda for its meeting includes an appearance by Paul Meyer, executive director of the N.C. League of Municipalities. The agenda does not specify what Meyer will talk about.

The public hearing on the two proposed infrastructure projects is the second of two required hearings. The first hearing was held this past Monday, but no one spoke during that hearing.

The money, if awarded to the city, would come from the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ Division of Water Infrastructure. Last year, the N.C. General Assembly allocated $26 million in federal grant funding to DENR’s infrastructure program.

The program’s purpose is to construct public water and sewer infrastructure to mitigate public and environmental health problems in areas where the percentage of low to moderate persons is at least 51 percent, according to documents related to the grant-application process and Allen Lewis, the city’s public-works director.

According to Lewis, the grant, if the city gets it, would be used for inflow-and-infiltration projects involving two pump stations, one at the intersection of Bridge and 13th streets and the other at the intersection of Pennsylvania Avenue and Havens Street. Inflow/infiltration is when water from outside sources enters sewer lines (sometimes water line). Inflow/infiltration causes dilution in sewers. That decreases the efficiency and treating sewage and can increase costs to treat sewage.

During the first round of the grant-application schedule, $10 million is available for distribution among projects that are selected for funding. The deadline for the first round of applications is April 1. The second-round ($15 million available) deadline is May 1. The maximum award for any one project is $3 million over a three-year period.

The grants cannot be used to pay for house connections to existing water and/or sewer lines.

The second public hearing concerns a request by John Norfleet for a certificate of convenience and necessity to operate Norfleet Cab Service, which would be based in Grimesland, within the city limits of Washington. The cab service would consist of one cab.

The public hearings begin at 6 p.m.

The council meets at 5:30 p.m. Monday in the Council Chambers in the Municipal Building, 102 E. Second St. To view the council’s agenda for a specific meeting, visit the city’s web­site at www.washingtonnc.gov, click “Government” then “City Council” heading, then click “Meeting Agendas” on the menu 

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