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East Spencer receives $2.4 million state grant for sewer, water improvements

The town of East Spencer was awarded a $2.4 million state grant to rehabilitate its water and sewer system. The town was chosen from among 119 applications that were submitted.

The grant will cover the cost of improving and replacing failing water lines and valves. The grant funds will also pay for the installation of about 12,000 lineal feet of 8-inch and 6-inch water lines. There will be about 4,500 feet of new 12-inch water mains installed. The grant will also provide for the replacement of failing service lines, make pavement repairs and any other related improvements.

“This is wonderful news for the town. We are delighted to know that the town will receive a major investment in our water system in the near future,” said Mayor Barbara Mallett.

Mallett said the project will tremendously boost the town’s economic development potential and its fire safety status.

She said the town board is already in discussion to create a water project steering committee to work with the town staff and engineers to manage the project.

The town board authorized the project application in August and it was submitted to the N.C. Department of Environmental and Natural Resources’ Division of Water Infrastructure in October. The town received notification it had received the grant at its Tuesday work session. McGill Engineers assisted the town staff in preparing the application.

The grant has been two years in the making, town officials said.

The town has been working for two years with the N.C. Rural Water Association staff to prepare for the project. In addition, the State Office of Community Assistance has been working with town staff, county officials and others to develop a “Gateway Plan.”

The grant contract should be in place by June with engineering plan approval in place by February 2016. Construction is expected to begin in early 2017.

Town Administrator Macon Sammons Jr. said a number of months will be devoted to planning, preparation and engineering for the project.

Sammons said in August that the town was working with the North Carolina Rural Water Association to identify where the town was losing water from its system. The town was losing an estimated $100,000 worth of water a year. The town replaced the old water lines about five years ago because they were leaking.

Sammons has said the new pipes did help with water loss, but that the town was looking at the possibility of needing to replace more water lines.

Contact reporter Shavonne Walker at 704-797-4253.

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