A meeting of the various funding agencies and partners involved in the Ellerbe-Rockingham-Richmond County Wastewater Regionalization Project will bring the project to the next step, said Ellerbe Mayor Olivia Webb.
This meeting will take place at the Ellerbe Town Hall at 1:30 p.m. today.
The regional wastewater project is an endeavor to retire Ellerbe’s outdated lagoon treatment system and expand a sewer line from Ellerbe to Rockingham along Highway 220. Rockingham is prepared to take on the extra influx of sewage, and the sewer line expansion will allow Highway 220 to receive more development.
Ellerbe officials say they look forward to meeting with Richmond County government officials, members of the Golden LEAF Foundation, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the North Carolina Rural Center to discuss final steps in the planning phase of the project.
“It’s all the funders getting together to discuss master financial agreements,” said Webb. “We’re going to work out the fine details of the financing. It’s the ultimate technical meeting before beginning the project. We’re solidifying the final steps in the process.”
The regional wastewater project will cost approximately $6 million. The Town of Ellerbe “will be able to shut down its antiquated lagoon treatment system … and will be able to outsource sewer service to the City of Rockingham,” said Webb.
According to Webb, the Town of Ellerbe contributed $500,000 to the project, Richmond County contributed $500,000, the Golden LEAF Foundation contributed $1 million, the North Carolina Rural Center contributed $847,600, and the USDA grants totalled $3,150,000.
“I’m looking forward to meeting new folks and getting to say thank you,” said Webb. “This is the first time we’ll have all gotten together. We’re one step closer and we’re ironing out the details.”
The Town of Ellerbe will release a proposal for construction bids in January, and the Ellerbe Town Council will review those bids and accept one for the construction contract in February.
Construction of the new sewer line between Ellerbe and Rockingham is projected to be completed by December 2010.
— Staff Writer Dawn M. Kurry can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 15, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.