Eastwood Residents and Moore Dems Rally to Obtain Clean Drinking Water

The Eastwood community​​ residents continue to rally for basic water rights with the Moore County Commissioners. On April 4th and 18th, the Moore County Democrats joined the residents of the Eastwood Precinct at the County Commissioner Meeting to advocate for clean, reliable, affordable residential water. Democrats Davonte Wilson, Ginger Derrick MacDonald, and Maurice Holland joined Connie Barber, Myrva McKinney, and Reverend Todd Curry to speak with Commissioners regarding the five year struggle for residents living in the area bordering Murdocksville Road and south of Highway 73 to obtain city water.

Community organizers Barber and McKinney had previously presented the Commissioners with a petition for service of 110 signatures in 2012. The current petition contains 158 residents. Yet a solution to the problem has remained elusive and lacks concentrated energy.

East Moore Phase 4 Area with Sign-Ups

East Moore Phase 4 Area with Sign-Ups

Eastwood residents currently use water tank systems that regularly run dry causing health and safety issues. Reverend Todd Curry spoke to the Commissioners about the inability to provide reliable water services for gatherings of worship or funerals. Rev. Curry pleaded for an affordable and timely solution to this long term problem of pipeline hook ups to their homes and business.

Devonte Wilson, chair of the Eastwood Precinct, reinforced this request with a letter to the Commissioners asking them to “take care of the people” of the Eastwood ​community. Wilson stated “in the Eastwood precinct, we have residents who are experiencing hardship and difficulty with water supply. Many of the houses have wells, but anyone with a well can attest to the fact that wells are tedious and costly on low income families”.

East Moore Water District with East Moore Phase 4 Sign-Ups (April 2017)

East Moore Water District with East Moore Phase 4 Sign-Ups (April 2017)

Randy Gould, Director of Moore County Public Works, presented three options for resolution at County Commissioner April 20 retreat. Mr. Gould explained the current cost of the project is estimated at $1.93 million which would serve 128 residents. This would be approximately $17,000 per residence. Mr. Gould presented three possible approaches to establish the service.
The first option would be to create a Murdocksville Water District. Funding would be sought through a United States Department of Agriculture-Rural Development (USDA-RD) grant. This grant would assume 4% interest for 40 years. There would be an annual payment of $93,707. The debt service cost to customers would be $61.01 per month. Additionally there would be charges for water and system operations. To make the project feasible additional resident sign-ups would be needed.

The second option would include a phase 4 of the East Moore Water District. This too, would include funding through a USDA-RA grant. The cost would be spread over current and new EMWD customers. This would increase all residents’ bills from $24.60 to $27.42.

The final solution would have Eastwood residents become part of Moore County Public Utilities-MCPU. MCPU serves concentrated areas, incorporated or not, e.g. Pinehurst, Seven Lakes, Vass, etc. MCPU cannot receive funding from the USDA-RD. Therefore service by MCPU to serve rural areas is not considered further without access to funding.

All options do not include the hook-up fee residents will need to incur once the pipes are run to the street. This would include hiring a plumber to make the connection. The fee for this service is approximately $1700-$2000. Residents will be asked to participate in a contractual agreement with the county once the grant has been submitted and approved. The tap fee is $1950.00 but there is a reduced fee of $250 for residents who participate early on.

Democratic Eastwood Precinct co-chairs Wilson ​and MacDonald will support ​Connie Barber and Myrva McKinney to form a steering committee to develop a timeline for outreach to area residents. The steering committee will work closely with the Commissioners and the Public Works department to submit the USDA-RA grant by October 1, 2017. If all is approved and the funding becomes available the project could finish in 2021.

If you are interested in more information or becoming part of this project call:

Davonte Wilson         910-315-8411
Connie Barber            910-295-2307(H) 910-724-4596 (C)
Myrva McKinney       910-528-6377
Ginger MacDonald   910-528-5680

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