LAURINBURG — The Laurinburg City Council said it hopes gaining a federal grant will help improve some infrastructure needs.
The push for the $2 million Community Block Grant comes on the heels of a presentation Tuesday by a resident concerned about flooding throughout the city.
Michael Edds told council members that two streets in his neighborhood — Blue and McNeill drives — flood every time it rains. According to Edds, the flood waters sometimes reach three feet high.
“Our infrastructure is beginning to age and beginning to crumble,” Edds said. “It needs to be fixed, otherwise we are not going to have a quality of living in this city.”
Council members said flooding has become a problem across the city.
“You are correct, we do need to improve our drainage,” council member Curtis Leak said. “I noticed in District 2 by the fire station … the other night when it rained so hard, you couldn’t get by there.”
Some infrastructure needs could be helped with the CBDG from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Council voted Tuesday night to apply for the grant for sewer improvements in the Produce Market Road area.
If awarded, the money would be allocated over a three-year period. Laurinburg should find out if they will receive the grant in January, according to officials.
The city was unsuccessful last year in gaining the grant.
Officials have also recommended an engineer analyze the flooded areas to get a better understanding on how to solve the problem.
The city’s Capital Improvement Plan does not specifically address the flooding of streets in the Blue Drive area, according to City manager Charles Nichols. But city workers have been treating the flooded areas as maintenance issues.
“To Charles’ credit, every time I have called him he has responded,” Edds said.
Edds has asked council why it was not spending more on infrastructure needs instead of on th $9.1 million City Hall.
Other critics have also questioned why the problem of flooding is not alleviated through the city’s Powell Bill funding.
This year, Laurinburg will get approximately $480,000 in Powell Bill Funds in September and December. Last year, Laurinburg got $460,000 during that period.
About 91.4 miles of roadway in the city qualifies for the state funding that can be used for improvements and regular maintenance of streets or public thoroughfares within the corporate limits.
In other business, Council vote to:
— Approve a request for an access and easement agreement between the Laurinburg-Maxton Airport Commission and Mountaire Farms.
Approve a joint pursuit of a Brownsfield Assessments Grant of up to $600,000 with Scotland County and the Scotland County Economic Development Corporation.
Approve contracts with Ediface Inc., pending funding approval for the City Hall/police department project by the Local Government Commission.
Reach Nolan Gilmour at 910-506-3171