Saluda looking to fix some aging systems

Published 8:00 am Friday, August 17, 2018

City to apply for grants to map water, sewer systems

SALUDA — With aging infrastructures and reoccurring issues with water and sewer breaks over the last few years, the city of Saluda is applying for a grant to map its systems.

The Saluda Board of Commissioners met Monday and approved resolutions to apply for grants for both its water and sewer systems from the state of North Carolina’s Asset Inventory Assessment. Grants are available for up to $150,000.

The city is hiring McGill & Associates Engineers, with engineer Keith Webb speaking about the grants Monday night.

Webb said the grant is geared toward water and sewer systems. 

Keith Webb

“The legislature saw the key role that your water and sewer system plays in the livelihood and sustaining your community,” Webb said. “How important it is for tourism and businesses and everybody. And we all realize we have aging infrastructure out here.”

Webb explained that the grant would be to map the city’s systems, to show the locations and deficiencies. Following the mapping, the city could have a capital improvement plan for potential repairs, he said.

The grant is due at the end of September. Given Saluda’s financial health, the match will likely be 15 percent, not the minimum of 5 percent, but much of the local match can be in-kind services, such as personnel helping with the mapping, Webb said.

“I think it’s something very worthwhile,” he said.

City Manager Jonathan Cannon said when the grant first came out three years ago, Saluda did not have any problems, so the state would not have funded such a project. But now, the city has a record of issues, he said.

Webb said last year’s grant cycle included 90 applications, 30 of which were funded. He said McGill will submit the application and, if it’s not approved, the company will submit it a second time. If funded, McGill will take its estimated costs of $3,000 out of the grant funding, and if not funded through two cycles, the city will owe McGill the estimated $3,000. 

Commissioners approved two resolutions Monday night; one for water and one for sewer, which authorizes McGill & Associates to apply for the grants on behalf of the city.