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Cumberland board to consider two new water and sewer districts


Cumberland County Manager Amy Cannon on Monday again is expected to propose the creation of additional water and sewer districts during a meeting of the county Board of Commissioners.

The board meets at 9 a.m. in Room 118 of the Judge E. Maurice Braswell Cumberland County Courthouse.

Cannon's proposal to create two more water and sewer districts is in response to an increase in contaminated drinking water wells as a result of chemical air and water discharges from the Chemours chemical plant on N.C. 87 on the Cumberland/Bladen County line.

The Board of Commissioners was expected to consider Cannon's proposal during a July 18 special called meeting. However, Chairman Glenn Adams adjourned the meeting because the group did not have a quorum. The board in June said it did not plan to meet in July. Adams said after the special called meeting that he was not aware that most board members were going to be absent.

Cannon is expected to propose creating a water and sewer district in the Cedar Creek and east central portions of Cumberland County. The proposed districts would join the Vander and Gray's Creek water and sewer districts created to provide countywide water and sewer service eventually.

Additionally, the county manager is expected to ask board members to adopt resolutions giving county staff the authority to apply for grants from state and federal agencies for water feasibility studies.

Currently, the county Public Utility Department is working with an engineering design firm for the first phase toward extending public water to Gray's Creek and Alderman Road elementary schools.

The Public Utility Department plans to apply for fall 2022 funding with the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality's Division of Water Infrastructure funding.

But before the county can proceed, Cannon is asking the board to adopt several resolutions, among them are adopting the county's Code of Ethics, the county's Minority/Disadvantaged Business Contracting Goals, and authorizing her and the chairman to execute those documents.

After the presentation, Cannon is expected to ask the board to consider creating the two new districts, hold a public hearing on Aug. 15 to get comments on the creation of the water districts and have all the necessary board-adopted resolutions in place to meet the Sept. 30 fall funding deadline for grant applications.

The board also is expected to hold a public hearing on helping Cargill Inc. acquire $27 million in revenue bonds so it can build and install a solid waste disposal system at its Fayetteville soybean processing plant.

On July 28, the Cumberland County Industrial Facilities and Pollution Control Financing Authority approved issuing the revenue bonds in an amount not to exceed $27 million.

The seven-member Cumberland County Industrial Facilities and Pollution Control Financing Authority's function is to help issue revenue bonds for paying all or any part of the cost of industrial or pollution control projects.

The Financing Authority also helps to finance industrial and manufacturing facilities to alleviate unemployment or raise below-average wages, helps to finance pollution control facilities for industry, and conducts other activities appropriate to its stated legal objectives.

Although the Financing Authority approved issuing the revenue bonds, its actions do not create a liability or cost to the county. The Internal Revenue Code requires the board to hold a public hearing and render its decision after considering the comments.

Jason Brady covers Cumberland County government for CityView TODAY. He can be reached at jbrady@cityviewnc.com.

Cumberland County, Board of Commissioners, water and sewer districts, drinking water