Brunswick Co. commissioners authorize $5.3 million in ARPA funding for first stages of wastewater treatment plant improvement

Brunswick County Administration Building
Brunswick County Administration Building
Published: Oct. 3, 2022 at 12:10 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 3, 2022 at 4:34 PM EDT
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OCEAN ISLE BEACH, N.C. (WECT) - The Brunswick County Board of Commissioners unanimously authorized $5.3 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding for the first part of an upgrade to the Ocean Isle Beach Wastewater Treatment Plant.

The majority of the money ($4.9 million) will come from an already-approved funding request to the county’s ARPA committee. The rest ($0.4 million) will be from ARPA funding previously allocated to the wastewater fund.

“The Ocean Isle Beach Wastewater Treatment Plant is in need of significant rehabilitation and expansion. In addition to rehabilitating existing facilities, the project will provide centralized wastewater treatment by replacing some existing nearby wastewater treatment facilities and expand overall treatment capacity in the southeast area of Brunswick County,” wrote Director of Public Utilities John Nichols in the request.

Per the request, the county and Town of Ocean Isle Beach previously entered into an agreement wherein the town gave their aging treatment plant to the county in exchange for extra capacity. Using this plant along with a few other properties, the utilities department plans to design a new project that connects two of the county’s wastewater treatment plants together.

Of the $5.3 million total, $1.8 million will pay for an engineering report to design the expansion. In effect, the proposed report aims to define the more specific, technical aspects of the project.

The utilities department writes that while they could just rehabilitate and replace existing facilities and reach a treatment capacity of about 2.2 millions of gallons per day of water (mgd), the proposed expansion will allow the plant to reach a treatment capacity of 3.05 mgd. This would match the system’s disposal capacity of 3.05 mgd.

The other $3.5 million is allocated to purchasing land for the expansion in the current proposal. Overall, the project is estimated to cost $65.5 million to complete.

The Brunswick County Board of Commissioners authorized the proposal at their meeting on Monday, October 3.