By Jesse Wood
Gov. Pat McCrory recently announced more than $1.3 million in grants awarded for 19 water-resource projects, including two in Avery and Watauga counties.
Watauga County was awarded $171,300 to help construct the Town of Blowing Rock construct nearly 2,000 feet of greenway along the New River as part of the Middle Fork Greenway project, which will eventually connect Boone and Blowing Rock via a greenway path.
The Middle Fork Greenway Association and Watauga County are partnering to host a drop-in public meeting to share information and request community input on the project. The meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 18, from 4 to 6 p.m. at Blowing Rock American Legion at 333 Wallingford Drive in Blowing Rock.
Blowing Rock Planning Director Kevin Rothrock didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on Monday afternoon regarding the specifics of the grant.
The other local project is located in Banner Elk. Avery County was awarded $95,000 to help the Town of Banner Elk retrofit an existing undersized bioretention wetland area that treats stormwater runoff flowing into Shawneehaw Creek.
Governor Pat McCrory announced that these 19 projects will help North Carolina towns and counties restore streams, reduce flooding and erosion, aid in stormwater management, provide recreation opportunities and benefit other water resources.
“These grants help North Carolina towns and counties build and update water resources projects that protect the environment and improve quality of life,” McCrory said in a release. “Storm management and water quality protection, conservation and restoration will improve across the state thanks to the projects funded by these grants.”
The North Carolina Division of Water Resources awarded the funds as a part of its 2015 fall grant cycle for the Water Resources Development Project Grant Program.
Money for the grants was generated by appropriations from the General Assembly. Applications are accepted for general and recreational navigation, water management, stream restoration, beach protection, land acquisition and development of water-based recreation facilities.
See details on all 19 grants below:
- Avery County – a $95,000 grant to help Banner Elk retrofit an existing undersized bioretention wetland area that treats stormwater runoff flowing into Shawneehaw Creek.
- Bertie County – a $95,000 grant to help Windsor construct water-based recreation amenities along the Cashie River.
- Bladen County – a $16,000 grant to help reduce flooding in the Butters-Richardson Community.
- Bladen County – a $35,000 grant to help Clarkton replace a collapsing corrugated metal pipe that carries drainage underneath South Elm Street.
- Brunswick County – a $29,000 grant to help Boiling Spring Lakes construct of a fishing dock with amenities at North Lake.
- Buncombe County – a $16,500 grant to provide help Buncombe County Soil and Water Conservation District stabilize 165 feet of eroding streambank along the Swannanoa River.
- Camden County – a $10,000 grant to help the Camden Soil and Water Conservation District construct a stormwater wetland at Camden High School that will treat stormwater runoff and provide educational opportunities for students and faculty.
- Clay County – a $29,345 grant to help the Clay Soil and Water Conservation District stabilize 800 feet of eroding streambank along Pinelog Creek.
- Durham County – a $20,000 grant to design a retrofit for stormwater conveyance from roofs, parking lots, and other impervious areas on school grounds to bioretention ponds, stormwater treatment wetlands, underground cisterns, and rain gardens.
- Henderson County – a $57,800 grant to help the Henderson Soil and Water Conservation District remove a small dam located on Greer Creek and restore 300 feet of the former stream channel.
- Lee County – a $50,000 grant to help Sanford install stormwater treatment devices along Little Buffalo Creek.
- Martin County – a $200,000 grant to help Williamston replace a culvert under the CSX Railroad and make improvements to Skewarkee Canal channel between Main Street and the railroad.
- McDowell County – a $34,000 grant to help McDowell Soil and Water Conservation District stabilize 200 feet of eroding streambank along the Catawba River.
- Pitt County – a $35,000 grant to help Winterville with a drainage study of the Nobel Canal watershed east of NC Highway 11.
- Polk County – a $150,000 grant to help Tryon stabilize 1,200 feet of eroding streambank along the North Pacolet River at Harmon Field recreation area.
- Stokes County – a $150,000 grant to help the Stokes Soil and Water Conservation District stabilize 1,742 feet of eroding streambank along Little Snow Creek and an unnamed adjoining tributary.
- Transylvania County – a $60,000 grant to help the Transylvania Soil and Water Conservation District stabilize 1,111 feet of eroding streambank along the East Fork French Broad River.
- Watauga County – a $171,300 grant to help Blowing Rock construct 1,935 feet of greenway along the Middle Fork South Fork New River.
- Wilkes County – a $97,006 grant to help Wilkesboro stabilize 1,500 feet of eroding streambank along Tuckerhole Creek.