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Twin County projects get $7.3 million in stimulus funds

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Congressman Rick Boucher announced funding for infrastructure projects in Carroll, Hillsville and Fries

By Christopher Brooke, Reporter

 Carroll County will receive $7 million in a grant and a low-interest loan for its regional water project, and Hillsville and Fries will get $552,900 and $300,000, respectively, for wastewater system improvements.

Rep. Rick Boucher announced Thursday that the funding comes through the federal economic stimulus package as part of the $31 million for infrastructure work set aside for the Ninth Congressional District.Rural Development will award a grant of $1.2 million and a low-interest loan of $5 million for the new regional water system that will serve Interstate 77 Exit 19 and Wildwood Commerce Park.

This is on top of a low-interest loan of $1.9 million that Boucher announced April 20 for a new sewer installation that also will serve the Exit 19 area.

Boucher said the regional water project will serve 322 homes and businesses, as well as the Wildwood Commerce Park that is being developed.

"With the federal funds, Carroll County will establish new water transmission lines between the New River Regional Water Authority's existing water system," a news release said.  "Additionally, the county will construct two booster pump stations and install a water storage tank."

"We're very excited about it, very pleased with it," said Sam Dickson, chairman of Carroll Public Service Authority. "We've been working on it a long time."

This will allow Carroll to have a sustainable water supply from the New River, rather than a reliance on wells, Dickson noted. It will supply water to all public water systems in the county, except Cana.

"We consider it one of the biggest things to happen to Carroll, especially since we've been on the board."

 With this funding, the schedule for the regional water project includes advertising for bids in May, receiving bids in June and awarding the construction contracts in July.

The hope is to have the water system completed in February of next year.

Hillsville will receive $552,900 in stimulus funds to upgrade a wastewater system serving 15 residents and businesses, according to the news release. The current wastewater system is failing and contaminating a nearby creek.

Funding will be administered by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality.

Fries will use its $300,000 in funding to replace an "aging main wastewater line" in town, which runs along the New River for a half-mile.

"The new wastewater line will enable future growth in the number of businesses and residents in the town," the news release said. 

The funding will come through the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality.

“Adequate and reliable water and wastewater systems are essential to maintaining Southwest Virginia’s excellent quality of life and to achieving our economic development goals for the region," Boucher said. "Today’s announcement will assist our ongoing work to expand water and wastewater systems throughout Southwest Virginia."

 

U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said a total of 193 projects nationwide are being funded with $615.8 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Federal officials believe these water and environmental projects will create or save 12,385 jobs while providing safe drinking water and protecting environmental resources.