Water line replacement project moves forward

Published 5:03 pm Friday, August 25, 2017

BELHAVEN — Progress continues on an infrastructure project along Water Street in Belhaven.

The Town of Belhaven was awarded $400,000 from the state, as part of the $2 billion Connect NC bond, to repair a water line running along Water Street, from the intersection with Pamlico Street down to Riverview Street. It was one of 17 other grants awarded for similar infrastructure projects, according to town Manager Woody Jarvis.

Jarvis said the state will provide roughly three-quarters of the money, and then it will finance the rest for the Town through a 0-percent interest loan.

“It has been a long-term priority for the town’s water system, and it’s just been a matter of finding the money,” Jarvis said. “I think the next round of paperwork will be (completed) by the middle or later part of September.”

The cast-iron, 4-inch water line in place now is decades old and prone to leaks, and it is also not a sufficient size to support firefighting, Jarvis said. The new line will have a width of 6 inches and allow for the installation of full-use fire hydrants, he added.

Jarvis said this project complements the work already underway on the town’s water facilities. The town’s water tower was recently cleaned out and repainted, and all water-holding facilities are undergoing inspection.

He said these updates and repairing the Water Street water line will help the Town to operate more efficiently, even when it comes to stopping leaks and thus stopping loss of revenue.

“It’s a good step for us to do this because it will help control that inventory and control our waste, and that’ll make us more efficient,” Jarvis said. “It will be one side of the street going down. There may be some closures. I think they’ll be short and temporary. We have enough side streets coming and going that nobody will be cut off from their home.”

The Town is still planning to work with Stroud Engineering on the project. Although Stroud requested a $5,000 upfront payment at first, the company then agreed earlier this year to only charge $2,500 if the Town did not secure the money as planned.

Jarvis said the next step before the project can begin is to obtain approval from the Local Government Commission for the town to finance the remaining project balance with the state. He added that he did not foresee any issues with this matter.

“This is just part of having the infrastructure,” Jarvis said. “It will help us upgrade the system, minimize leaks and help us to provide better service.”