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Council passes resolution to seek funding for upgrades to wastewater treatment plant

The Albemarle City Council passed a resolution this month supporting an application for state funding for the Long Creek wastewater treatment plant to be converted to a fine bubble aeration system.

The aeration system produces small air bubbles which rise slowly from the floor of a wastewater treatment plant and provide substantial and efficient mass transfer of oxygen to the water before it’s discharged back into the creeks.

Aside from converting the treatment plant to a fine bubble diffusion system, another rehabilitation measure includes a complete electrical systems upgrade to support the new aeration system.

The city is under a special consent order with the state, which has mandated that the city make improvements to its treatment plant.

Adam Kiker of LKC Engineering in Aberdeen presented the resolution to the council during a recent meeting. The total budget of the project is around $16.7 million.

The city wants to apply for both a low-interest loan and a grant, possibly up to 25 percent of the total budget, to help offset the total cost of the treatment plant upgrades. The application, which Kiker will put together, has to be submitted to the state by the end of September. The city likely won’t hear if it’s received funding until February or March.

Mayor Ronnie Michael was adamant the city apply for both a loan and a grant.

“With $16 million, we need that 25 percent grant,” Michael said.

After several minutes of discussion, the council approved the resolution with a 6 to 1 vote.

Councilman Chris Bramlett, who was the dissenting vote, expressed reservations about the total cost of the project.

About Chris Miller

Chris Miller has been with the SNAP since January 2019. He is a graduate of NC State and received his Master's in Journalism from the University of Maryland. He previously wrote for the Capital News Service in Annapolis, where many of his stories on immigration and culture were published in national papers via the AP wire.

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