Bath, Belhaven receive project funding

Published 8:01 pm Tuesday, March 1, 2022

Bath and Belhaven were among the recipients of a combined $164 million in loans and grants from the state to help pay for drinking water and wastewater projects statewide, Gov. Roy Cooper announced Tuesday.

Bath received two $150,000 Asset Inventory and Assessment grants to be used on the town’s sewer system. Belhaven received an equal amount of grant funding for its water system. Bath was allocated $5 million in the state budget for sewer improvements.

Asset Inventory and Assessment grants assist municipalities in developing asset inventories, condition assessment of critical assets, and other components of a comprehensive asset management programs,” according to the Department of Environmental Quality.

“This funding opportunity will allow North Carolina to make meaningful investments in our communities,” Cooper said. “These projects will help promote equitable access to clean water, strengthen our economy and advance climate resilience across the state.”

A complete list of funded projects can be viewed at https://deq.nc.gov/media/27543/open.

“This funding gives North Carolina’s rural communities an opportunity to address the challenges of aging infrastructure and climate change, so they can become more viable, improve their resiliency and compete for economic development,” said DEW Secretary Elizabeth S. Biser.

The project funding was approved at the State Water Infrastructure Authority’s Feb. 9 meeting. The Authority is an independent body with primary responsibility for awarding federal and state funding for water and wastewater infrastructure projects. Other responsibilities include developing a state water infrastructure master plan, recommending ways to maximize the use of available loan and grant funding resources, and examining best and emerging practices.

Studies show that North Carolina needs from $17 billion to $26 billion in upgrades to its water and sewer infrastructure statewide over a twenty-year period, according to a press release from Cooper’s office.