RALEIGH, N.C. — Governor Roy Cooper visited Edgecombe County on Thursday to highlight water infrastructure grant funding.
The Town of Pinetops will receive $7.9 million to replace its water lines, supporting households across the town. Edgecombe County will receive $1.1 million to install a new water main and services for a water line extension that will provide a viable source of water to households at Eagles Road.
“Rural communities across North Carolina deserve access to safe drinking water,” Cooper said. “This funding will help improve the water systems in Pinetops and Edgecombe County, strengthening our state for future generations.”
“When we invest in water infrastructure, to replace aging water pipes and upgrade outdated systems, we are preparing small towns for future success by ensuring access to clean, affordable drinking water for the communities that need it most,” NC Department of Environmental Quality (NCDEQ) Secretary Elizabeth S. Biser said.
“The $7.9 million Viable Utility Reserve Grant recently awarded to the Town of Pinetops will provide the financial means to begin much-needed replacement of aging Town freshwater infrastructure for our citizens and businesses. The citizens and businesses of Pinetops rely upon safe and dependable freshwater services to support their daily activities,” Pinetops Mayor Brenda Harrell said. “This grant will provide the capability to significantly improve the performance, quality, and resiliency of our freshwater infrastructure. The resulting benefits will improve the overall quality of life for our citizens and the ability to support future residential and business growth for Pinetops.
“We are grateful that our project was selected by the NC Department of Environmental Quality,” Eric Evans, Edgecombe County Manager said. “This funding will allow us to extend our waterline to approximately 20 homes and provide a reliable and safe source of water. We look forward to an ongoing partnership with NCDEQ.”
North Carolina invests an average of $200 million annually in the state’s water infrastructure. Thanks to historic federal funding passed by Congress and signed by President Biden, North Carolina is investing $2.3 billion over two years in water and wastewater infrastructure in communities across the state.
In July 2022, the Governor announced $789.4 million in water and wastewater infrastructure funding to help pay for 385 projects statewide, including 140 construction projects. 86 counties are receiving funds so far to upgrade their water infrastructure. The funding comes from American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds, state reserve funds and state budget allocations.
The Division of Water Infrastructure at NCDEQ opened a second round of funding in Fall 2022 and received an exceptional number of applications. The Division received 649 applications from 91 of North Carolina’s 100 counties. The funding will be awarded in February 2023.