State furnishes current town and county utility bond payments

Published 11:56 am Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

The North Carolina Department of Public Safety has sent checks to Columbia and Tyrrell County to offset their water and sewer bond payments due in the fiscal year that ended June 30.

The county’s check was for $209,901, and the town received $113,603. They represent principal and interest currently due.

The payments lift a huge current expenses burden from the two governments, but they do not affect the 2020-21 budgets that go into effect July 1, which show similar payments due next spring.

Moreover, the prison closure last December dramatically lowered the town’s sewer revenues and the county’s water revenues.

Columbia treats and disposes of wastewater from the prison, situated two miles north of the town. Tyrrell County Utilities furnishes water to the prison. (R-

As many as 600 inmates and 150+ employees moved out of the prison work farm facility before last Christmas.

Senator Bob Steinburg (R-Chowan), who represents Tyrrell County, introduced a bill May 14 to provide money to Columbia and Tyrrell County that would pay the bonded endebtedness for the town’s sewer treatment expansions and the county’s costs in building a reverse-osmosis water treatment system, both specifically to provide services to Tyrrell Prison Work Farm.

The bill would appropriate $3.353 million to Tyrrell County and $2.074 million to Columbia.

The bill has languished in the Senate Appropriations/Base Budget Committee since May 18.