County moves forward in water, sewer upgrades

By Amanda Moss

March 25, 2014

ROCKINGHAM — The Richmond County Board of Commissioners decided on Tuesday to move forward with two grant applications.

The board held two public hearings concerning applications for grants from the 2013 North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources Community Development Block Grant Infrastructure Grant. The deadline for the applications is May 1 and the expected date of notification of the award is July 17.

The first public hearing focused on using the grant for partial funding of waterline extensions in the area of Old Cheraw Highway and U.S. Route 1 South. The total estimated cost for the project is $1,709,500 and will include the installation of approximately 16,000 linear feet of 8-inch waterline, 3,500 linear feet of 6-inch waterline, appurtenances, fire hydrants and a pump station.

Emily Rogers, municipal engineering services company consultant, said that this was the second public hearing that the county had hosted on the extension of the waterline. The county is required by law to host two public hearings prior to the submission of an application to the infrastructure program. There was no one from the public who spoke at Tuesday’s hearings.

Richmond County Manager Rick Sago said that the area in question is in need of the water, and it has been a problem for many years.

“It is well documented that the residents can’t get water or they have to drill to extreme levels to get the water,” Sago said.

Sago said he has been working on the project for many years, and he is hoping to get the service to the residents in the affected area. Bryan Land, public works director for the county, said that there were approximately 60 customers that were affected.

Commissioner Ben Moss was in favor of the idea saying that it would help to provide water to more residents in the county.

The second public hearing dealt with another issue that Sago said has been a problem for many years — the county’s wastewater system in Cordova. The total estimated cost for the project is $2,306,000, and the county is looking for partial funding of the project. The project will include the installation of approximately 17,000 linear feet of sewer line, appurtenances and approximately 63 manholes.

Rogers said that this was the first public hearing for this project, and the county is still required to do a second public hearing before submission of the application.

Sago said the current system in place has been in place for quite some time and is in bad condition. The system has regular problems with clogged and broken sewer lines. The city of Rockingham currently treats the wastewater from the area and when it rains it significantly impacts the amount of water that is sent to the city. Sago said that services to the residents of the county will be enhanced with improvements made to the system.

Sago said the county is planning on holding a second public hearing for the wastewater project grant in April.