Village Receives Grant for Sewer Extension
The village of Pinehurst has received some good news about its Jackson Hamlet sewer extension project.
Village Manager Andy Wilkison announced at a Village Council work session Tuesday that the village had been awarded a $796,530 Community Development Block Grant from the North Carolina Department of Commerce's Division of Community Assistance. The funds will be used for the second phase of the sewer extension project.
The village has contracted Steve Austin as the grant administrator for the project. Austin said the state was "picky" about who it awarded the grants to. Out of over 90 applicants, the village was one of 19 selected, he said.
"I'm happy to hear that," Mayor Pro Tem Ginsey Fallon said. "I think that's wonderful that they're picky and this doesn't just give money out without thought."
Related to that news, the council adopted three ordinances -- one that adopted a grant project fund, another that adopts policies and procedures for the block grant program, and a fair housing ordinance.
Phase 1 of the project extended services to the westernmost parts of Jackson Hamlet and was completed back in the spring. Phase 2 will extend that infrastructure to the most populated part of the community, west of N.C. 5.
"This particular grant will connect each resident in the area as well," Austin said. "That's the benefit of these Community Development Block Grant funds. They're the only program that will connect the individual households as well."
Wilkison said after the meeting that the second phase should be completed by fall of 2010. Once construction begins -- most likely in early spring -- Wilkison said it will take about six months to finish.
In other business, the topic of the village's pending purchase of water and wastewater treatment plants near Wagram was raised by new councilman Doug Lapins at the end of the meeting. The deal is currently in a holding pattern as the village waits for Scotland County's approval of the deal, though there is no indication if or when that could happen.
Scotland County officials have maintained they want the village to conduct a feasibility study before approving it, but the village wants the approval before committing taxpayer money to the study.
Lapins said an outline of what the feasibility study could look like had some "fairly significant gaps in it."
"I'm trying to get the facts, and I'm having a lot of trouble getting facts," Lapins said. "I'm not for it or against it, I've said that all the way through the process. My problem was the process of not having the numbers to be able to make the call."
Lapins said the village needs some sort of sense of where it is going with the proposal.
Lapins asked Mayor George Lane if Wagram was a "dead issue."
"No, it's not a dead issue," Lane said. "It's in limbo."
Wilkison pointed to the county's discussions with the city of Laurinburg about water as something to consider. County officials are expected to meet with the village on Friday to discuss water.
Contact John Krahnert III at (910) 693-2473 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
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