ALBEMARLE — Thanks to an allotment of state funding, Albemarle will soon have a pair of upgraded water systems.
Officially announced in a Jan. 11 press release, the City of Albemarle has received $17 million from the North Carolina State Budget to support water and sewer infrastructure projects within the city.
“We are so grateful to State Sen. Carl Ford and N.C. House Rep. Wayne Sasser,” Albemarle Mayor Ronnie Michael said. “This funding is a big help to our budget. It will greatly benefit our citizens and allow us to make critical improvements to our water system infrastructure.”
Ford and Sasser — the two state congressmen representing Stanly County — initially referenced the $17 million of funding at the Albemarle City Council meeting on Nov. 20, 2023.
“This is a good ask that you asked for and we were able to get it and then some; maybe some more next year,” Ford told council members. “It’s an exciting time and I know you guys need it with all the growth that’s going on here in Albemarle. I’m proud to be a part of it and proud to be helping you.”
“There’s not one borrowed dime in that $30 billion budget that we just spent,” Sasser added, referencing the fiscal responsibility of the state funding. “The state of North Carolina owes less money this month than they owed last month. We’re paying our bonds off as we go. We’re not borrowing any additional money and we were cutting your personal income tax, so that’s about as good as we can be.”
The state funding will directly assist the city’s strategic plan goal of investment in infrastructure by supporting two specified projects.
With an approximate price tag of $32 million, the first project goal is to replace a 24-inch raw water line — originally installed back in 1947 — with an updated 30-inch line so that it can carry up to 12 million gallons of water per day from Badin Lake to the U.S. Highway 52 Water Treatment Plant.
Slated to cost $6.2 million, the second project will replace an existing 20-inch water line on the travel lane of U.S. Highway 52 that goes between the water treatment plant and the Atrium Health Stanly hospital campus.
Additionally, a separate line will be installed along Snuggs Park Road, connecting at Bethany Road and extending south to Snuggs Street.
“One of the goals in the City of Albemarle’s strategic plan is to invest in infrastructure needed to ensure reliable and consistent service delivery,” said Jay Voyles, City of Albemarle public utilities director. “These projects meet that goal by enhancing the resilience of our water system. We thank our elected leaders for helping us obtain crucial pieces of funding that will ultimately benefit our customers.”