East Spencer to submit plans for coronavirus relief funds

Published 9:27 pm Wednesday, July 29, 2020

EAST SPENCER — The town says it is preparing to submit plans for the more than $69,000 appropriated from the state’s Coronavirus Relief Fund.

Rowan County commissioners have set the amounts that will be awarded to the 10 municipalities. And commissioners earmarked $69,695 for the town of East Spencer. Town Administrator James Bennett said the town has to submit a plan to justify receiving some or all of the money.

Bennett would not detail what those plans are exactly, saying it would be premature for him to discuss them because they have not yet been approved.

Funds were initially proposed to be distributed by population, but commissioners set a baseline of $50,000 and added an additional amount based on population. East Spencer is the third-smallest town in the county based on population and, thus, receiving the third-smallest portion.

Bennett said he’s created a plan that will then be submitted to the East Spencer town board and then to the county commissioners.

The board also discussed at a meeting on Tuesday about longstanding issues with its sewer system.

Salisbury-Rowan Utilities operates the sewer system for the town. The town pays the utility a fee. For a number of years, the town has experienced issues that include losing water. In November, the town determined, with assistance from the N.C. Rural Water Association and Salisbury-Rowan Utilities, that it was losing 85,000 gallons per day.

The town was able to locate a leak. While it was getting 100% of its water from SRU, East Spencer was only getting collection or payment on 60% and losing 40%, Bennett said.