County approves new hurricane relief funds

By: Gavin Stone - Editor

ROCKINGHAM — The Richmond County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday approved federal relief funds for repairs to three areas needed due to the rough hurricane season last year.

The grants awarded are a USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service grant valued at $328,153.50, an NC Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services grant valued at$42,538, and a Golden Leaf grant valued at $106,350. These will be used to repair damages at the Von Drehle Corporation, American Woodmark located in the Hamlet Industrial Park, and the Northam Road waterline.

The Natural Resources Conservation Service funds the Emergency Watershed Protection Program (EWPP) which addresses serious and long-lasting damage to infrastructure and land, according to Public Works Director Jerry Austin. He added that the grants go to the county, not to the companies themselves.

Richmond County is a sponsor of the repair projects, according to Austin.

To receive the grants, the repair projects “must demonstrate a reduction of threat to life and property; be economically, environmentally and socially sound; and must be designed to acceptable engineering standards,” Austin said. “Examples of repairs are reshaping and protection of eroded stream banks, correct damaged or destroyed drainage facilities and repair levees and structures.”

— At von Drehle, the county will repair the stream bank on a section of Hitchcock Creek behind the company’s Cordova facility which experienced “major erosion.”

— At the Richmond County Industrial Park adjacent to and in front of American Woodmark, the county will repair the sediment basin and perform drainage improvements. Austin said this project will prevent any future erosion of the embankment on I-73/74 that occurred due to Hurricane Florence.

Richmond County has been approved for funding to repair 200 feet of 36-inch drainage pipe damaged by the excessive water flow during Florence.

The county is not seeking grants for any other hurricane-related repairs, according to Austin.

Gavin Stone


Reach Gavin Stone at 910-817-2674 or [email protected]

Reach Gavin Stone at 910-817-2674 or [email protected]