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City OKs state grant to recoup $50,000

Lincolnton officials are hoping a state grant they accepted Monday will help the city to recoup some recent expenses for compliance with stormwater regulations.

During a special meeting Monday, City Council members voted unanimously to approve a grant resolution on which they were facing a deadline. The grant will help to reimburse the city for funds already spent.

During the meeting, Lincolnton City Manager Jeff Emory gave a brief history of the North Carolina Clean Water Management Trust Fund Grant, prior to council members taking a vote on it.

Emory said the city began budgeting money for phase 2 stormwater regulation during fiscal year 2008, and then submitted an application to the Clean Water Management Trust Fund to help pay for expenses.

Emory said he was informed in 2009 that the grant application had been approved but was contingent on available funding. He learned this year that funding was available.

Describing it as a “reimbursement grant,” Emory said the city was matching $90,000 that had already been spent, and the grant will provide $50,000 to help offset those expenses. The city is now eligible for those funds after the council signed off on the grant’s guidelines and passed the resolution.

Emory said 70 percent of the grant money, or $35,000, will go to Lincolnton’s Powell Bill Fund, while the remainder will go to the Water and Sewer Fund, as stipulated by the state.

Public Works and Utilities Director Steve Peeler said Lincolnton had met all the “triggers” to be brought under the state’s stormwater mapping regulation, particularly by reaching a population of 10,000, according to 2010 census data.

Before the meeting was adjourned, council member Dr. Les Cloninger took a moment to commend Peeler’s department, and both the fire and police departments of Lincolnton, for doing a “wonderful job” carrying out clean-up duties following Sunday’s storm.

Mayor John Gilleland added that he had received no calls of complaint and that meant the city crews were doing an “excellent job.”

SARAH LOWERY, Staff Writer

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