12/29/05 — Mount Olive receives $2.5 million grant

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Mount Olive receives $2.5 million grant

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on December 29, 2005 1:46 PM

Gov. Mike Easley announced the town of Mount Olive will receive $2.5 million from the High Unit Cost Grant Account for its regional sewer system.

"These funds will allow Mount Olive to move forward with its wastewater program," Easley said in a prepared statement. "This type of investment is key to the area's success in pursuing economic development opportunities and for improving the environmental performance of its facilities."

The money will help the town expand and upgrade its wastewater treatment plant to produce effluent for drip irrigation.

Town officials plan to plant a tree farm near the upgraded sewer plant, and the effluent from the process would be fed to the sapling trees until they grow to harvesting size.

The tree farm will use trees that absorb a lot of water, such as poplars, cottonwoods and sycamores.

Work on upgrading the treatment plant is scheduled to start in early spring.

The new plant will be able to handle two million gallons a day. The plant also can be expanded later.

The new plant will not require chemicals to treat the waste, but ultraviolet light. That will make operation less expensive, town officials said.

Town Manager Ray McDonald said he was not surprised to learn about the grant. The state had already committed to giving the town $3 million to help with the project.

"They don't award it until you go to bid the project," McDonald said. "This year when our project came together they awarded the grant. We expected it any time."

He said the reason the grant is $2.5 million and not $3 million is the town already used some of the money a couple years ago to install a larger sewer line from Church Street to the treatment plant.