KINSTON, N.C. (WNCT) — NC Sen. Jim Perry has announced nearly $21 million in grants from the State Water and Infrastructure Authority. A number of those grants will go to locations in Beaufort and Craven counties.

Grants typically fall into one of three categories: drinking water, wastewater or stormwater.

A media release states the following locations will receive the money:

  • 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 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,” Perry said in the media release. “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.

“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 wastewater 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.”

Perry’s office reports 649 applications from 91 of the state’s 100 counties received some sort of grant funding.