Hopes for the new year

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Here’s to a happy and prosperous new year for everyone — especially to the town of Mount Olive as it faces challenges ahead.

The big tree to cut down and get it all in motion is the beginning of getting the ailing wastewater treatment plant up and working as originally designed.

A total of $5.5 million has been approved in state funds to get it all moving through the green light.

Town Manager Charles Brown said it best when he called it the very “future of the town.”

Indeed it is. All is planned to put it out for bid in August and have it under construction in September.

Completion has been targeted for September of 2021.

The wall tumbled down several years ago when the state mandated a moratorium that prohibited the town from providing any additional service until a fix was in place.

It was a damaging blow and slammed on the brakes to any plans for any kind of development, including badly needed housing.

Perhaps the moratorium will be lifted as the days turn into weeks and months.

Another badly needed project still in limbo is converting the old Carver School into a designated disaster recovery center.

The $550,000 in federal funds that have been approved and sit in the pipeline have not found its way to Mount Olive yet.

Federal aid moves slowly, but if those funds are coming by postal or electronic sources, the pony express probably moved faster 200 years ago.

The major need is installation of a backup power system.

Everything else is there: bedding space for 300, a cafeteria and separate bathing facilities.

Hurricanes and flooding issues have increased in recent years and there is no need to feel that will change.

This project has been approved for several years and hopefully can be put into place during 2020.

And, as we go into a new year with a new mayor, an experienced board of commissioners, and an experienced town manager, let’s keep it open.

My challenge for the year ahead to our elected officials is to be transparent.

No one questions the sincerity of what you do and no one questions the compassionate way you get it done with the whole picture in mind, but….

Happy New Year to all, and it is sent with hopes of a year filled with all that is pleasant, progressive and productive.

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