Local and county governments across the state will be eligible for water/sewer project grants if the Connect NC Bond is passed by North Carolina voters on Tuesday, March 15th.
There is $309 million dedicated to infrastructure services for municipal and county governments to make improvements and updates to water/sewer facilities to assist with economic development and growth. The Connect NC Bond will provide $100 million for grant funding to local governments and $209.5 million will be available for loans on a revolving basis.
Under the guidelines of the bond, there will be three types of grants for water/sewer project: (1) Water infrastructure and construction grants; (2) Asset Inventory and Assessment Grants; (3) Consolidation and Regionalization Grants. The criteria of the grants will depend on the improvements and the number of citizens served. The grants will be based on relative affordability of a project to that municipality based on median income, poverty rates, employment rates.
Loan funds will be administered through the existing Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds. These loans are made to local governments based on the same criteria and carry a low interest rate. The loans are made on a revolving basis so as one town repays their loan, the cash is utilized to make new loans to other communities.
“These local and county water/sewer grants are a critical component to the Connect NC Bond Campaign,” said Venessa Harrison, President of AT&T North Carolina, a co-chair for the bond campaign. “Local government leaders are supporting the bond because they want access to the capital they need to provide improved services to their citizens,” said Ms. Harrison.
“These bonds will provide $2 billion in critical investments in our community colleges, universities, our state parks, our NC National Guard and local & county governments, all without raising taxes on our citizens. That’s a good deal for our state and our citizens,” said Ms. Harrison.