SMITHFIELD – The Town of Smithfield has been awarded $5,475,800 from the State of North Carolina to assist with seven projects.
The Town will use the funds to rebuilt and expand the Downtown Amphitheater, expand the Eva Ennis Splash Pad, expand a multi-use path from Smith-Collins Park to the JCC Pond along with a multi-use path around Smithfield Collins Park.
Funds were also earmarked to increase the culvert size under the CSX Railroad Track in the 1500 block of US Highway 301 South to help with flooding issues. Other money will be used to increase the capacity at Pump Station #11 and built an outfall line East of Interstate 95, increase the capacity at Pump Station #1, and build a force main sewer line in North Smithfield.
At the February meeting of the Smithfield Town Council, the council voted to accept the direct funds from the State of North Carolina.
Town Manager Mike Scott told The Johnston County Report the state funds are intended to pay for all of these projects. “They do not require a match amount from the Town unless the final expenditures are over budget. We are very fortunate to have legislators who fought for Smithfield to acquire these funds. Smithfield is on the books as a growing community. One that offers an abundance of services.”
“These funds will allow us to offer a bit more by bringing a state of the art amphitheater to Smithfield along its riverfront and downtown, while also creating a multiuse path connecting the Town to the JCC Campus and creating another recreational feature incorporating the storm pond. This project also brings to fruition an enlarged splash pad in District 1 and enhanced parking for Smith Collins Park.”
“The other funds help us by improving infrastructure in preparation of the growth already approved in West Smithfield and North Smithfield. It also allows to improve the storm drainage as it leaves Smithfield and moves towards I-95. This should decrease flooding in an area where we would like continued business growth in South Smithfield,” Mr. Scott said. “These projects will all help us positively manage our growth without having to place additional burden on our tax payers in Smithfield.”
“Much of the work is already underway in the form of seeking qualifications for engineering and architectural firms and working with CSX to manage their permitting system to increase the storm water drainage in the area of the 1500 block of South 301. We are working with the Office of State Budget Management to complete the necessary grant contracts to make the money available for these projects. We expect this to be completed this month.”
“These are all exciting projects and will benefit every member of the community in multiple ways,” the Town manager said.