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County gets funding to expand sewer line

By Staff
Expected to help local industry’s expansion efforts
By EUGENE L. TINKLEPAUGH
Staff Writer
A state grant is clearing the way for the creation of 50 jobs in Beaufort County.
The N.C. Department of Commerce awarded the county an $850,000 grant that will help the City of Washington extend a sewer line along River Road.
The Community Development Block Grant will allow Carver Machine Works to expand its manufacturing plant on Christian Service Camp Road — about 2.5 miles outside Washington’s city limits — and add 50 new jobs. Under the stipulations of the grant, 60 percent of those jobs will be filled by residents with low or moderate incomes.
Lindsey Crisp, Carver’s chief executive officer, said the 50 new jobs would “run the gamut” from welding to mechanics to administration to maintenance.
Carver Machine Works has been in operation for over 20 years. The home-grown, employee-owned company started with about 30 employees, Crisp said. Now, it has about 65 workers. That number will nearly double with the proposed sewer improvements.
County Manager Paul Spruill said the county working with its municipalities to bring about sewer improvements has had a great deal of precedence.
Tom Thompson, the county’s chief economic developer, said the infrastructure improvements would not only create 50 jobs but it will save the existing 62 jobs at the company.
Sewer capabilities, he said, tend to increase the quality of new development.
The sewer line will be owned by the City of Washington.
Spruill noted that would require some long-term planning.
It’s usually expensive to tap on to a force main to provide single-family residential access to wastewater treatment, Spruill said.
According to Crisp, extending the sewer line along River Road will cost about $1.6 million.
Thompson said the county is seeking another grant to cover the differential. Those awards haven’t been announced, yet, Thompson said.
Being a Tier One, 21st-Century Community, the county has no required match to receive the CDBG grant, Thompson said.
Because Washington had already received its maximum of grant money from the Department of Commerce, Thompson noted, the county applied for the grant on Carver Machine Works’ behalf.
According to Thompson, Carver’s expansion will be completed within a year, and the 50 new jobs will be added over a period of three years.
Crisp said his company is appreciative of all the agencies that came together to make the grant possible and excited about expanding.