State authorities have not been notified of the town’s $2 million funding shortfall for projects at the wastewater treatment plan.
The holiday season and other issues delayed contact, according to Town Manager Jammie Royall.
Initially, the town received a $5.5 million state grant to make repairs, updates and replace old equipment at the plant that has been under a state moratorium for several years.
A Tennessee contractor has been hired to eliminate the 300-acre tree farm and replace it with Bermuda grass. That project is estimated to cost $3.7 million.
The second contact, which involves extensive work at the plant, has not been awarded. Bidding exceeded the amount budgeted for the project.
“I hope they are understanding and sympathize with us,” Royall said.
He plans to contact officials with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Golden Leaf Foundation. Approximately $2.2 million is needed to complete the plant project.
In recent weeks, heavy rainfall led to excessive raw sewage spills into the nearby headwaters of the Northeast Cape Fear River.
“It is not normal, but when we have that kind of rainfall it is going to happen and keep on happening until we can get the problems fixed,” Royall said.