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Gov. Cooper visits Elkin, Jonesville

Gov. Roy Cooper visited Elkin and Jonesville on Tuesday to tour local water and sewer plants which will soon be getting much-needed upgrades thanks to funding from the American Rescue Plan Act.

Jonesville will be receiving nearly $15 millionfor infrastructure improvements to its water treatment plant and water lines.

The Yadkin Valley Sewer Authority, which serves Elkin, Jonesville and Ronda, will be receiving $4 million for floodplain resiliency wastewater collection system improvements.

Cooper was a given a tour of the water treatment plant in Jonesville, including the original building constructed in the 1950s. Jonesville Town Manager Michael Pardue showed the governor corroded pipes which are common due to the age of the infrastructure which often causes water leaks, especially during season changes. Cooper also had a tour of the YVSA sewer facility prior to a short press conference.

YVSA Executive Director Nicole Johnston spoke about the state funds that have already benefited the regional sewer system and the new improvements that will be made possible by additional money.

Johnston said that since Cooper took office in 2017 the Yadkin Valley Sewer Authority has received more than $16.8 million in grant and loan funds for much-needed upgrades to the treatment plant and collection system.

“This funding that was received met the critical need of the citizens, businesses, the hospital, the schools, and the industry in the YVSA service area and now provides a sound waste water treatment plant which will serve future needs of our area and protect the water quality of the Yadkin River,” Johnston said.

Secretary Elizabeth Biser of the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality said that clean, affordable water was a “top priority.”

“Without clearn water literally nothing else matters,” Biser said. “These funds are going to go a long way to protect public health, the environment, upgrade essential services and also make sure we’re keeping rates affordable for local residents.”

Pardue added that it was a “transformational day” for Jonesville.

“This is going to take Jonesville into the next century,” Pardue said of the nearly $15 million that will be used to upgrade the water system.

“These funds will allow us to keep our rate structure in such a way to allow our citizens to have affordable, clean, clear water,” he said.

Pardue said the new upgrades will allow for much greater efficiency for the town’s water system.

“Our water we produce today is very safe and very clean considering the circumstances, but we’re very inefficient,” Pardue said.

Cooper praised the local leadership, saying it was a “coordinated effort.” He also said the regionalization of sewer services through the Yadkin Valley Sewer Authority was a model for other areas and commended the “visionary leadership” that lead its establishment.

“It is much more cost effective and want to encourage more of it,” he said of the regionalization efforts.

Seeing first hand the facilities that will be affected by this funding was nice, Cooper said, but he said his thoughts were particular on how these upgrades will benefit the people of the area.

“I can’t help but think of the families and people who have children who worry about whether their water is clean; the businesses that might be able to come and locate here that maybe couldn’t have otherwise that’ll provide a great paying job for mom or dad for that family,” Cooper said. “Everything does depend on clean water, if you don’t have it you can’t have a community.”

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Source: https://www.mtairynews.com

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