The North Carolina Rural Center has awarded a $1 million grant to Richmond County for the expansion of the county’s water treatment plant, located at 326 Old Charlotte Hwy in Rockingham.
On top of that, USDA Rural Development has awarded the county a grant of $459,400 and a loan of $4,206,000 at 2.75 percent interest for 40 years.
This project was discussed at the Richmond County Board of Commissioner’s retreat this week. USDA Rural Development prepared a Letter of Conditions for the board to consider for approval including the proposed amount of grant dollars for the water treatment plant expansion project.
“Construction prices are low right now,” said County Manager Rick Sago to the board. “This is something we need to take on.”
The expansion will take the county’s water treatment plant from 6.7 million gallons per day to 9 million, according to Sago. The 2.3 million gallons per day expansion project will include new sedimentation basins, filters, flocculators, additions to the existing plant building, and a new section of finished water transmission line from the plant to Highway 74.
“A flocculator is nothing more than a large mixer,” explained Director of Public Works Bryan Land. “This is the initial entry point where chemicals are injected into the raw water before it enters the sedimentary basins.”
The total project cost is estimated to be $5,865,400. The county will contribute $200,000 to the project.
“Municipal Engineering is spearheading this project for us,” said Land. “As always it’s a big hit for us to get funding assistance from any agency but definitely it’s a home run when dealing with dollar figures of this magnitude. We continually look for alternate funding avenues and grants are a huge part of this piece of the puzzle.”
— Staff Writer Dawn M. Kurry can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 15, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.