By Steve Herring | Link
State Sen. Jim Perry of Kinston and House Majority Leader John Bell of Goldsboro will announce on Friday that the town of Mount Olive is to receive $5.5 million in disaster recovery funds to make repairs and upgrades to its wastewater treatment facility.
The funding to be announced by Perry and Bell will allow the town to restore the treatment facility to its design capacity.
It will allow the town as well to be removed from a state-imposed moratorium on adding new customers that it has been under for several years, according to a statement from Town Manager Charles Brown.
Mount Olive’s growth has been hampered for several years due to lack of capacity at the wastewater treatment facility.
The town’s treatment plant has long suffered from problems caused by design and construction issues. The problem has been made worse by severe damage from Hurricane Matthew and Hurricane Florence.
Brown said that Perry and Bell have worked closely with him and Mayor Joe Scott to secure the badly needed funding for the project.
Engineers engaged by the town have developed a preliminary engineering report that will allow work to begin as soon as plans are approved by the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality, which regulates wastewater treatment facilities throughout the state.
Work on the project is expected to take approximately two years.
During a recent town board candidates forum, Scott called the wastewater treatment plant the most important challenge facing the the town.
The town’s growth is dependent on making the necessary improvements to the plant, he said.
The town is under a state-imposed moratorium on adding new customers until the plant is properly operating, which means no new subdivisions, no new industry, and no new commercial or retail business, Scott said.
“That means we are at standstill,” Scott said at the forum. “We can replace, but we cannot add. We are seeking a special order of consent to help us get some relief from the moratorium so that we can get growth going in our town.”