HOFFMAN — Few people will ever be as excited to pick up ceremonial shovels as the Town Council members of Hoffman this Thursday.
At 11 a.m., they will join state and local dignitaries at the northernmost Hoffman welcome sign to break ground for a sewer system that will connect the 600-resident town to the wastewater-treatment plant on Thunder Road, just inside Moore County. Dignitaries will include state legislators, as well as someone from the governor’s office.
“It’s been in the working for 25 years!” Mayor Pro Tem David Kelly crowed Monday, when asked for details of the groundbreaking.
Officially, though, the project has been in the works since 2014, when the town won a $3 million Community Development Block Grant for Phase 1. That phase is expected to link 64 homes to the new system and be completed at summer’s end.
The town recently also applied for $2 million to begin Phase 2, one of many likely phases to come. Each phase requires an engineering study, an environmental-impact report, design and permitting work, and a bidding process, so the process will be a lengthy one.
Residents have been given the choice of whether to hook up to the system or retain their working septic tanks. Most want to be connected to the new system, which means their septic tanks will remain in place but be capped.
Hoffman receives its water from Richmond County but found it would be too costly to seek sewer service from the county in which the town sits. The Moore County line is scant miles away and especially close to the town’s easternmost residents.
Community Development Block Grants, or CDBGs, come from the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development to finance affordable housing, antipoverty programs and infrastructure development. Because many Hoffman residents earn low to middle incomes, they will not have to pay to have their septic tanks capped or to connect their homes to the sewer system.
Phase 1 of the project includes the building of two wastewater lift stations and installation of 9,600 feet of sewer pipe. Town officials have said they hope installing a sewer system will increase the town’s prospects for business development.
Expected to attend are state Sen. Tom McInnis, R-Richmond; state Reps. Ken Goodman, D-Richmond, and Garland Pierce, D-Scotland; as well as Napoleon Wallace, deputy secretary of commerce for rural economic development and workforce.
Reach Christine Carroll at 910-817-2673 or [email protected]