The city has submitted an application for a grant of approximately $215,000 in Community Development Block Grant infrastructure funds, under Title I of the Housing and Community Development Act, to make capital improvements involving water and sewer upgrades along Pugh Road.
According to city manager John Connet, city staff has identified Pugh Road as a “prime location” to receive CDBG funding. Holland Consulting Planners assisted in the preparation of an application to receive CDBG contingency funding from N.C. Division of Community Assistance for installation of water, sewer and roads in the area. Connet said the grant’s acquisition would be greatly beneficial to the city.
“We’ll be able to provide sewer service to three or four houses not on the sewer system,” said Connet. “This will provide sewer to those houses that were not part of the original grant and extend the water line all the way past those houses to the Villas at Birch Cove.”
City officials have released a tentative list of proposed activities and the estimated cost for them, one that includes $190,000 in CDBG-funded water and sewer improvements and another $25,000 in administration costs, bringing the total to $215,000. Additionally, there is another $12,000 proposed to be allocated from the city as part of the water and sewer upgrades.
A public hearing was held this month, the second of two such hearings required to be considered for the CDBG funding. No one spoke at either hearing.
Connet said the Pugh Road improvements would help toward building on what has already been undertaken by the city in making improvements to that area.
“We want to make improvements to Pugh Road and hopefully down the road Eliza Lane,” sad Connet. “This (on Pugh Road) would help connect the Howell Edwards and Russell Street projects.”
Pugh Road improvements would be an extension of an existing CDBG project on Russell Street, one that Connet said is now “80 percent through.”
The Russell Street project was approved for CDBG funds in 2009 and a bid was awarded early this year for similar water and sewer improvements, an endeavor with a larger goal of community revitalization, to provide adequate housing and infrastructure to households in the Russell Street neighborhood.
Dilapidated houses have been demolished, replaced and renovated as part of the project, including two homes razed at 205 Russell St. and 293 Russell St., which were in such run-down condition that new construction was more economical than rehabilitation. The homeowners, as part of a property transfer, were relocated to city-owned properties at Williams Street, where new homes have been built.
Assistant city manager Shawn Purvis noted that the city has renovated and rehabilitated eight homes through the CDBG Russell Street project, which had a total operating budget of 950,000 — $850,000 in federal grant monies and another $100,000 in city funds.
Purvis said the project could be finished by the end of the year, but a January or February finish might be more likely.
“It’s really getting close,” said Purvis. “We have one home to close out. All that’s left is getting the contractors to come in and do water and sewer work.”
Several hundred yards down Pugh Road, and on the opposite side, Villas at Birch Cove subdivision owned by Edwards submitted a request for annexation in September. Being found sufficient, Council called for a public hearing at this month’s meeting. No one spoke to it, and the Council approved the request.
The subdivision will be located on Pugh Road, just past the American Legion Building off of Faison Highway (N.C. 403). It will be constructed over approximately 9 acres. The 26 lots, split by a single street, range in size from 7,500 square feet to 8,328 square feet.
Connet said grant funds for the Pugh Road project, if obtained, would allow the city to continue building up that area of the community.
“This allows us to build on those projects and tie those two projects together,” said Connet. “It will allow us to have better water and extend water all the way down that road for more fire protection.”
Chris Berendt can be reached at 910-592-8137, ext. 121, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.