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Board Moves Forward to Address Water Contamination

Aug 02, 2022

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. – The Cumberland County Board of Commissioners held their Regular Meeting on August 1 at 9 a.m. in Room 118 of the Judge E. Maurice Braswell Cumberland County Courthouse.

During the meeting, Commissioners took a number of actions recommended by County Manager Amy Cannon to address the contamination of private wells due to GenX and other PFAS chemicals in portions of the County. Board actions included:

  • Adoption of an Organization Action Resolution for the Gray’s Creek Water and Sewer District
  • Adoption of a Resolution for the Gray’s Creek Water and Sewer District Grant Application
  • Adoption of a Resolution for the Vander Water and Sewer District Grant Application
  • Adoption of a Resolution for a Cumberland County Grant Application

Prior to approval of the above items, Cannon gave a presentation during which she went over the history of water and sewer districts in the county from the creation of the Linden and Vander Water and Sewer Districts in 2002 and the Gray’s Creek Water and Sewer District in 2009, to the discovery of GenX in the Cape Fear River in 2017 and the County’s efforts to secure a commitment from Chemours to assist with construction of water infrastructure in the county. She noted the updated EPA health advisories that were announced in June 2022 and will result in an estimated 1,300 additional private well users in Cumberland County who will be eligible for whole building filtration or public water connection.

Cannon said the Board has allocated $21 million for the extension of water in the Gray’s Creek district and the County is seeking additional funding to complete the first phase of that project, which will involve running a water line to serve two schools in the district and customers along the route. Cannon said the County hopes to bid the project in early 2023.

Beyond Gray’s Creek, she said the County is working to determine the feasibility of providing water to rural residents with contaminated wells in other parts of the county and asked that the Board consider exploring the feasibility of serving the existing Vander District and creating the Cedar Creek and East Central Water and Sewer Districts, which are being prioritized due to the levels of well contamination that have been identified in those districts. Creating the districts will assist the County in competing for grants to help fund construction of infrastructure in the districts. The County plans to apply for State grants in September to help fund the Gray’s Creek project and fund planning for the Vander District.

Cannon said staff is working on developing a communications strategy to engage the community and seek interest and early sign-ups. She said early sign-on is critical and that customer interest in participation will determine the economic feasibility of developing a water system in the districts. She said the County is planning to offer a reduced tap fee for early sign-ons.

The Board directed staff to hold the community interest meetings for the creation of the two new districts prior to scheduling public hearings, which are required to establish the new districts.

The Board also received an update from NCDOT District Engineer Richie Hines regarding DOT projects in the county. The report included updates on the 39-mile Fayetteville Outer Loop (I-295), which Hines said he is hopeful will be completed in 2026, and the I-95 Widening Project, which he said should be completed from Murphy Road (Exit 55) in Cumberland County to I-40 (Exit 81) in Johnston County in 2026.

In other action, the Board:

  • Adopted an Organization Action Resolution for NORCRESS Water and Sewer District
  • Approved a resolution rescinding the State of Emergency for COVID-19 previously declared on March 16, 2020
  • Held a public hearing for the Consideration of Approval in Principle of the Issuance of Not to Exceed $27,000,000 Exempt Facilities Revenue Bonds by the Cumberland County Industrial Facilities and Pollution Control Financing Authority to Provide Financing to Cargill, Incorporated
  • Appointed Chairman Glenn Adams as the voting delegate to the NCACC Annual Conference and Vice Chair Dr. Toni Stewart as the voting member for the NCACC Legislative Goals Conference
  • Recognized Sarah Guill with the Department of Social Services, who retired on April 30, 2022, after 32 years of service to Cumberland County.
  • Recognized the following Cumberland County 4-H members:
    • NC Association of Agricultural Affairs Scholarship Winner Fabian Horton
    • NCACC YouthVoice Delegate Sara Uharriet

Commissioners also approved the following Consent Agenda items:

  • Approval of May 26, 2022, June 1, 2022, June 6, 2022, June 13, 2022 and July 18, 2022 Special Meeting Minutes and June 6, 2022 and June 20, 2022 Regular Meeting Minutes
  • Approval of Proclamation for Rogers and Breece Funeral Home
  • Approval of Proclamation for Preparedness Month 2022
  • Approval of Tax Collector's Preliminary Report and Proposed Annual Settlement
  • Approval of Report on the Disposal of Surplus Property Pursuant to N.C.G.S.160A226(a)
  • Approval of Proposed Additions to the State's Secondary Road System
  • Proof of Publication of Public Hearing June 20, 2022, for Expansion of Recreation District to Include the Town of Spring Lake
  • Approval of Budget Ordinance Amendments for the August 1, 2022 Board of County Commissioners' Agenda
  • Approval of Cumberland County Board of Commissioners Agenda Session Items
    • Resolution to Lease Certain Real Property to Service Source Employment

The Board went into closed session to discuss Real Property Acquisition pursuant to NCGS 143.318.11(a)(5) and Personnel Matter(s) pursuant to NCGS 143.318.11(a)(6).

Please visit cumberlandcountync.gov/departments/commissioners-group/commissioners/meetings/agendas-minutes-and-videos for the meeting notes concerning this meeting and other Board of Commissioners’ meetings. To watch the meeting, visit YouTube.com/CumberlandCountyNC. For more information about Cumberland County government, visit cumberlandcountync.gov. You can also follow the county on social media by searching CumberlandCountyNC.