Sen. Perry announces $21 million for Craven and Beaufort Counties

Published 11:58 am Saturday, February 25, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

From Sen. Jim Perry:

Kinston, N.C. –  Senator Jim Perry, (R- Craven, Beaufort, Lenoir) announced Craven and Beaufort Counties have been awarded $20,993,640 in grants from the State Water and Infrastructure Authority.  Grants typically fall into one of three categories: drinking water, waste water or storm water.

The Town of Bath will receive $10,275,000 and the Town of Dover will receive $1,794,545 from  the Viable Utility Reserve (VUR), pending approval by the Local Government Commission.  The VUR was created in 2020.  The City of Havelock will receive $3,815,500, the City of New Bern will receive $4,549,360.  The Town of River Bend will receive $100,000 in pre construction planning dollars.

“Aging water and sewer infrastructure is an issue all over our state, but it is especially hard on our rural areas that are losing population. Utilities are covered by user fees, not tax dollars, so you need to grow your number of users to keep the per person cost low. The NCGA appropriates funds, but it is the sharp leadership in these communities who pulled these funds to their communities.”

Senator Perry, a native of eastern NC, is very familiar with the difficulties faced by those in rural areas. In 2019, as a freshman lawmaker, Perry authored and passed legislation to help provide emergency stabilization funds for small town utilities.

“In order to have a healthy state, we need to stabilize our rural areas who are experiencing population loss. We also need to help those who have the ability to grow, but are limited by water and wastewater capacity. We need to stabilize Towns like Dover and Bath.  We also need to ensure places like Havelock can develop enough housing to support the needs of MCAS Cherry Point and FRC East. They can’t grow without drinking water and waste water capacity increases. We can’t pay $2,000 per month for a residential water bill. I want my people of the East to have a fighting chance for the future.”

In this round of funding, the state received 649 applications from 91 of North Carolinas 100 counties In total with $3.5 billion in requests and $462.9 million of grants were approved.
The state plans to use $2.3 billion over the next two years to help upgrade water infrastructure.

Senator Perry serves as Majority Whip of the North Carolina Senate and Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee.