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Calabash commissioners approve sewer grant application

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By Staff Brunswick Beacon

CALABASH—After some tweaking, commissioners approved a letter of support for a $500,000 Brunswick County Rural Center Grant application.

After grant consultant Skip Vereen answered questions at the special July 24 meeting, commissioners also approved a supplemental program authorizing a resolution for the Rural Center Grant application for Calabash’s wastewater collection expansion project.

Vereen said the proposal was for the town to write a letter to the state outlining that by June 2009, when the project contract is to be awarded, it would be in a position to provide a $250,000 local match.

“That would allow the town to apply for up to a $500,000 rural center grant,” Vereen said.

The town in essence is “buying” a regional lift station and 37 grinder pumps from Brunswick County totaling $750,000 to justify the grant, though all liability will still be assumed by the county, he said.

Town commissioner Forrest King, who oversees town finances, said the town has already set aside $200,000 and can do a budget amendment for the remaining $50,000 needed for the matching grant.

Commissioners went ahead and approved the measure because Vereen said he needed a signed resolution and executed application by this past Monday. He said around December commissioners should know “whether you have your money or not.”

Calabash Mayor Anthony Clemmons said money left over from the defunct South Brunswick Water and Sewer Authority may be available as well.

“That money was available to towns, especially Calabash,” he said. “It’s just setting there, so let’s earmark that fund.”

He estimated the amount is $200,000.

“Calabash lost $300,000 seed money,” he said. “I think our citizens should be entitled to some of it. They could close out that account, and we would certainly help them.”

Laura Lewis is a staff writer at the Beacon. Reach her at 754-6890 or at llewis@brunswickbeacon.com.