Gov. Cooper Visits Edgecombe County to Highlight Infrastructure Grants

State and local officials held a press conference at the Pinetops Town Hall to explain how more than $12 million will make a difference.

Chris Bushnell
February 16, 2023
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Historically known for its rail station, the Town of Pinetops is receiving $8.26 million in grants to improve its water and wastewater infrastructure. Edgecombe County will also receive nearly $4.5 million for drinking water and sewer system upgrades. The state’s Department of Environmental Quality awarded the funds.

Governor Cooper appeared with local government officials at the Pinetops Town Hall to highlight the recent funding awards to benefit communities in Edgecombe County.

“Rural communities across North Carolina deserve access to safe drinking water,” Governor Cooper said. “This funding will help improve the water systems in Pinetops and Edgecombe County, strengthening our state for future generations.”

Pinetops will use the bulk of the funding, $7.96 million, to upgrade the Town’s water system.

“The citizens and businesses of Pinetops rely on safe and dependable freshwater services to support their daily activities,” Pinetops Mayor Brenda Harrell said. “This grant will provide the capability to significantly improve the performance, quality, and resiliency of our freshwater infrastructure.”

In Edgecombe County, $2.5 million in grant funds will pay for modernization of a water transmission booster station, and a $1.1 million project will provide drinking water service to more residents.

“We are grateful that our project was selected by the NC Department of Environmental Quality,” said Eric Evans, Edgecombe County Manager. “This funding will allow us to extend our waterline to approximately 20 homes and provide a reliable and safe source of water.”

Members of The Wooten Company’s Funding Strategies Team and Greenville Regional Office assisted Pinetops and Edgecombe County staff with applying for the resources.

“We are pleased to see our partners in Edgecombe County receiving these grant dollars to enhance community quality of life and support economic development,” said Wooten’s Greenville Engineering Manager, Will Larsen, PE. “These projects will benefit the Town and the environment in the near-term and in the future.”

The grants were issued under the State Revolving Fund’s Viable Utility Reserve program, which requires recipients to complete Asset and Inventory Assessments. The remaining funding will enable Pinetops and Edgecombe County to take full inventory of the age, condition, and vulnerability of this infrastructure. These assessments empower decision-makers to develop capital improvement plans and enhance reliability of service for residents and businesses.

Typically, North Carolina invests an average of $200 million annually in the state’s water infrastructure. As a result of the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act passed by Congress in November 2021, North Carolina is investing $2.3 billion over two years in water and wastewater infrastructure in communities across the state.

Chris Bushnell

Chris Bushnell joined Wooten in fall 2020 as the marketing communications specialist.

Chris Bushnell joined Wooten in fall 2020 as the marketing communications specialist.