The people of Mount Olive have truly been blessed with the approval of a $5.5 million grant in disaster recovery funds to fix and upgrade its ailing wastewater treatment plant.
We are looking at somewhere around two years before all of the work falls in place.
The approval of the funds will also clear the way for removal of the state mandated moratorium at the treatment plant, and also should allow for approval of a special order of consent to fix the plant much quicker.
The requested special order seeks approval of an additional 150,000 gallons daily.
This entire issue is a nightmare that has plagued and prevented the town of any growth for the last six years.
But, we all learned the good news last week.
Town Manager Charles Brown put it all in simple prospective when he said, “The dragon has been slain.”
Call it what you wish, but State Sen. Jim Perry of Kinston and Rep. John Bell of Goldsboro somehow rattled enough cages and found the tools to slay the dragon.
Still, a lot of work lies ahead to get the shovels turning ground, but the intent glows brightly and has a welcomed light at the end of what had been a dark tunnel.
Local leadership also deserves credit, because the folks never gave up during this long and complicated journey.
They exemplified what accomplishment is all about and how it is achieved — hard work, long hours and sleepless nights.
I was at the event when it was announced and there was a lot of clapping hands and hootin’ and hollerin’. This is what it is all about.
Growth that will dramatically boost the local economy will begin popping up in all directions in the days ahead.
Mount Olive sits comfortably in a highway corridor headed for major improvement that has already been funded and approved with plans on the table ready to take off.
A lot of small towns in Eastern North Carolina have fallen victim to bypasses around their areas in years past.
What is now underway and on the table for Mount Olive is a different ball game.
It is a clear signal of growth: commercial and residential. Both add to the town’s tax base.
It has been said a number of times before that it is an exciting time to live in Mount Olive, and the announcement of funding to fix the town’s wastewater treatment plant issues is clearly the beginning of a domino-type ending.
Now, as far as I am concerned, Mount Olive needs a poolroom.
An old friend, now deceased, had such a business in Goldsboro.
He called it the home of champions and went ballistic if someone called it a poolroom.
He said it was a billiard parlor.
In any case, Mount Olive needs one, because college kids — accept it or not — like to play the game.
William Holloman is a staff writer for the Mount Olive Tribune.