08/28/06 — Grant will add curves to city creek

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Grant will add curves to city creek

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on August 28, 2006 1:53 PM

For years, Goldsboro officials have been trying to find a way to put the meander back in Stoney Creek.

Recreation and Parks director Neil Bartlett said thanks to a close to $500,000 appropriation that was confirmed Friday, work can begin to do just that.

The North Carolina Clean Water Management Trust Fund -- established in 1996 to help finance projects that enhance or restore degraded waters -- recently approved a grant that will bring $485,000 to the city for restoration of 8,000 linear feet of Stoney Creek.

Bartlett said the project aims to return the creek to its "natural state."

"If you look at Stoney Creek, right now it's basically a straight line stream," he said. "That does not occur naturally."

Bartlett added now that the grant has been approved, experts and engineers will work to design what they believe the stream once looked like.

"(The project) will put the meander back in the stream," he said. "Stoney Creek will look much like it did many years ago."

But the project isn't just about appearance, Bartlett added -- it's about improving water quality throughout Wayne County.

"By putting the meander back in stream, we will greatly reduce the amount of sediment and nutrients that make it to the Neuse River," he said. "I think it's a great start. It's a great project for Goldsboro that will result in a much better quality of surface water reaching the Neuse."

Bartlett said the "good news" was a result of hard work and tremendous effort from city staff and elected officials, particularly Sen. John Kerr, D-Wayne, and Phil Baddour.

Last week, Kerr said he was pleased that substantial funds had been allocated to bring Stoney Creek's old look back and added the project will also protect a great piece of nature.

"This project will also help protect water quality in the creek and in the Neuse River Basin by protecting 128 acres along the creek from development," he said.

Kerr added Stoney Creek wasn't the only Wayne County project that came out of the trustees' meeting a winner -- in the same motion, $923,000 was allocated to the town of Eureka to repair sewage lines and prevent sewage spills.

Statewide, nearly $60 million in water quality grants were awarded by the group this month. The allocations were made possible as a result of a $100 million appropriation by the General Assembly to the Clean Water Management Trust Fund.