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$20 million in grant money help communities make improvements to water systems

The Bell System, still marked on this old manhole cover in Washington, begat several modern-day telecom companies, including Verizon and AT&T.
Alina Selyukh/NPR
The Bell System, still marked on this old manhole cover in Washington, begat several modern-day telecom companies, including Verizon and AT&T.

More than $20 million in grant dollars will help communities in Beaufort and Craven Counties make improvements to drinking water, wastewater and stormwater systems.

Senator Jim Perry said the Town of Bath will get just over $10 million and the Town of Dover will receive $1.8 million. The City of Havelock will receive $3.8 million and the City of New Bern will receive $4.5 million.

The Town of River Bend will also get $100-thousand in pre-construction planning dollars.

“In order to have a healthy state, we need to stabilize our rural areas that are experiencing population loss. We also need to help those who have the ability to grow but are limited by water and wastewater capacity. We need to stabilize Towns like Dover and Bath. We also need to ensure places like Havelock can develop enough housing to support the needs of MCAS Cherry Point and FRC East. They can’t grow without drinking water and wastewater capacity increases. We can’t pay $2,000 per month for a residential water bill. I want my people of the East to have a fighting chance for the future.”

Aging water and sewer infrastructure is an issue across North Carolina, but Perry said it is especially hard on our rural areas that are losing population because utilities are covered by user fees, not tax dollars.

In this round of funding, the state received 649 applications from 91 of North Carolina’s 100 counties. In total, nearly $463 million in grants were approved.

Annette is originally a Midwest gal, born and raised in Michigan, but with career stops in many surrounding states, the Pacific Northwest, and various parts of the southeast. She has been involved in the media industry in eastern North Carolina for more than three years. An award-winning journalist and mother of four, Annette moved to ENC to be closer to family – in particular, her two young grandchildren. It’s possible that a -27 day with a -68 windchill in Minnesota may have also played a role in that decision. In her spare time, Annette does a lot of toddler and baby cuddling, reading, designing costumes for children’s theater and producing the coolest Halloween costumes anyone has ever seen. She has also worked as a diversity and inclusion facilitator serving school districts and large corporations. It’s the people that make this beautiful area special, and she wants to share those stories that touch the hearts of others. If you have a story idea to share, please reach out by email to westona@cravencc.edu.