Local ARPA funds flush out sewer trouble

Published 12:01 am Friday, July 1, 2022

Elisabeth Strillacci

EAST SPENCER – A resident who came to the Board of Aldermen for help with sewer lines that are backing up into her home was given a grant of $1,975, using funds from the American Rescue Plan Act or ARPA, to cover the cost of the work.

Emma Graham reported to the board that her home on Jay Van Wiley Lane was built in 1900, and is beginning to show signs of its age, including sewer lines that are backing up, toilets that are difficult to flush, and overall struggles with the ensuing sanitation.

“We had a plumber come out and he told us we need a lateral transfer,” said Graham’s sister, who spoke on her behalf. Salisbury Rowan Utilities quoted a cost of $1,975, and Graham requested a grant from the town for that amount.

In addition, SRU told Graham that there are tree roots that have grown into the lines that are also causing problems.

“This is similar to two previous small grants we made to residents using ARPA funds,” said Town Administrator Michael Douglas, noting that one of the specific items ARPA funds can be used for is investing in “water, sewer and broadband infrastructure.”

Several board members asked if the lateral transfer would address the issues with roots in the lines as well, and Douglas said “yes, SRU will take care of that,” since that issue is happening in the part of the line that runs from the meter to the street.

“We’ve done this for two previous residents so I certainly think we can and should do this,” said Mayor Barbara Mallett, wishing Graham good luck with the repairs.