The center's board of directors approved the grants June 18.


Although the grants address specific local challenges, Rural Center President Billy Ray Hall said they affect the whole of North Carolina. "Water and sewer problems don't have a fence around them," Hall said. "What affects Farmville or Stanly County touches every one of us because it threatens the economy, the environment and the future well-being of our state."


The grants were made possible by appropriations of the N.C. General Assembly. A total of 144 projects received funding in four categories.



The center awarded $38.3 million to 116 projects addressing critical water and sewer problems across North Carolina. Grants awarded under the Clean Water Partners Infrastructure Fund seek to ensure a clean, abundant supply of drinking water and the safe treatment and disposal of wastewater in communities dealing with serious water resource challenges.


Town of Ahoskie, $1 million to repair and upgrade the town's faulty wastewater treatment system, which state regulators have cited for overloaded spray fields.


Albertson Water and Sewer District, $500,000 to drill a new well and connect it to the Duplin County district's existing water treatment plant. The water supply has been limited to a single well.


Anson County, $40,000 to study the feasibility of Anson's selling water to neighboring Union County, which is under strict water conservation rules.


Town of Benson, $750,000 to install equipment that will pump treated, reclaimed wastewater to a local water-dependent business. The project will protect groundwater supplies and retain jobs.


Town of Benson, $39,000 to develop a land-use plan that will guide protection of water resources. Benson currently discharges its treated wastewater to the vulnerable Hannah Creek.


Town of Bethel, $700,000 to make water system improvements to reduce groundwater withdrawals. Central Coastal Plain Capacity Use Area rules require Bethel to reduce withdrawals by 75 percent between 2008 and 2018.


Town of Beulaville, $500,000 to replace faulty sewer lines. State regulators have placed the Duplin County system under a moratorium until wastewater problems are resolved.


City of Brevard, $138,325 to replace a faulty force main in its sewage collection system. The Transylvania County municipality is operating under a state special order that requires timely replacement of the force main.


Town of Broadway, $50,000 to install dechlorination equipment at the town's wastewater treatment plant. The Lee County town is in danger of not complying with permit rules.


Broad River Water Authority, $26,500 to fund a 10-year capital improvement plan. The authority is experiencing low water pressure and has old and deteriorating piping.


Town of Brunswick, $500,000 to install a wastewater collection and pumping system to an area of town where septic systems are failing. The new lines will serve 42 homes and eight businesses.


Town of Bryson City, $14,300 to fund a 10-year capital improvement plan, a water and sewer fund financial analysis and a report on rate structures. The town and surrounding Swain County continue to be affected by drought.


Burke County, $18,500 to develop a comprehensive water conservation plan, a system audit and a billing rate study. Burke County loses about 20 percent of the water it purchases.


Town of Cajah's Mountain, $22,222 to fund a capital improvement plan for the Caldwell County town.


Town of Calypso, $143,000 to repair and upgrade the town's faulty water system. The Duplin County town is losing more than 12 percent of its water.


Town of Chocowinity, $40,000 to fund an engineering study to improve water quality at the Beaufort County town's water treatment plant.


Clay County Water and Sewer District, $40,000 to study the feasibility of using Lake Chatuge as an alternative water supply. Clay County faces some of the most severe drought conditions in the state.


Clay County Water and Sewer District, $500,000 to expand the county's wastewater treatment plant.


Cleveland County, $40,000 to develop plans for a reuse water line to supply a co-generation power plant. Cleveland is among those counties hit hardest by drought.


Cleveland County Sanitary District, $500,000 to construct a storage pond to hold at least a five-day supply of untreated water.


Contentnea Metropolitan Sewage District (Pitt County), $1 million to upgrade the district's faulty wastewater system and expand capacity to serve customers in Ayden, Grifton and Winterville.


Town of Crossnore, $89,800 to install a well to serve more than 150 residents of the Avery County town. Of the town's two current wells, one is contaminated and the other is nearly dry.


Town of Dobbins Heights, $500,000 to install a sewage collection system. The Richmond County town is plagued by failing septic systems.


Town of Dobson, $500,000 to install water lines in an area of town with contaminated wells. The project also will allow the town to interconnect with Mount Airy, to provide better service during peak demand.


Town of Drexel, $10,000 to develop a water and wastewater capital improvement plan that state regulators have requested prior to the Burke County town's next inspection.


Town of Dublin, $100,000 to rehabilitate the Bladen County town's wastewater system and replace leaking water lines.


City of Dunn, $500,000 to rehabilitate and upgrade the Harnett County city's wastewater system.


Duplin County, $230,000 to extend wastewater service to the Rosemary community, which has failing septic systems.


City of Edenton, $40,000 to fund an engineering report on repairs and upgrades for the Chowan County town's two water treatment plants and for a study to evaluate well withdrawal rates and water quality.


Edgecombe Water and Sewer District III, $500,000 to extend water service to more than 60 homes whose wells are contaminated.


Town of Elkin, $40,000 to fund a water loss analysis that will help the Surry County town locate and repair a leak. The town is losing about 40 percent of its treated water.


Town of Elm City, $500,000 to upgrade the Wilson County town's wastewater treatment system, which is under a state moratorium for exceeding capacity.


Town of Enfield, $206,000 to replace a portion of the storage system for the Halifax County town's treated drinking water.


Town of Faison, $500,000 to upgrade the Duplin County town's sewer collection system, which until recently was under moratorium and requires additional work to continue operating.


Town of Farmville, $500,000 to upgrade a regional water system that serves the Pitt County town and 12 water systems in Greene County. The improvements will bring the regional system into compliance with Central Coastal Plain Capacity Use Area rules.


Fork Township Sanitary District, $500,000 to boost the capacity of four wells. The project will provide an alternative water supply for an area in Wayne County with dwindling groundwater resources.


Town of Fountain, $500,000 to upgrade a regional water system that serves the Pitt County towns of Farmville and 12 systems in Greene County. Fountain buys its water from Farmville. The improvements will bring the regional system into compliance with Central Coastal Plain Capacity Use Area rules.


Town of Franklin, $500,000 to upgrade the town's wastewater treatment plant and correct overflow problems. The Macon County town's wastewater system was recently placed under state moratorium.


Town of Franklinton, $338,500 to rehabilitate portions of the town's wastewater system. Faulty sewer lines have resulted in sewage spills in the Franklin County town.


Town of Fremont, $500,000 to increase the capacity of its sewage treatment system, allowing the town to reduce the amount of wastewater it pumps to the city of Goldsboro for treatment and disposal. The improvements will lower utility bills for residents of the economically distressed town.


Town of Fremont, $22,500 to fund an engineering report evaluating water supply options. State regulations require the Wayne County town to find an alternative water supply because of dwindling groundwater. Drinking water quality has become a concern as well.


Town of Gibson, $40,000 to fund an engineering report to identify the cause of water infiltration at the Scotland County town's wastewater treatment plant.


Goldston-Gulf Sanitary District, $485,750 to install an interconnection that will allow the Chatham County district to purchase its water from Sanford. The project is necessary because of contamination at the district's water treatment plant.


Town of Granite Falls, $332,766 to install a new line connecting the town's water tank and the water treatment plant. The project will raise water pressure in the Caldwell County town.


Town of Granite Falls, $30,000 to fund an evaluation of the town's water resources and future needs. The Caldwell County town's water treatment plant is nearing capacity.


Greene County, $1 million to upgrade a regional water system serving Greene County and the Pitt County town of Farmville. The improvements will bring the regional system into compliance with Central Coastal Plain Capacity Use Area rules, which require a 75 percent reduction in groundwater withdrawal from existing wells by 2018.


Town of Grifton, $40,000 to survey a portion of the town's sanitary sewer system. The survey will help the Pitt County town locate the source of excessive water infiltration.


Town of Grimesland, $276,449 to extend water lines and rehabilitate the town's existing water tank. The project will enhance water quality and improve system performance in the Pitt County town. It also will stop lead paint on the water tower from shedding onto the children's playground below.


City of Hamlet, $150,000 to repair and upgrade portions of the Richmond County city's sewer lines.


City of Henderson, $500,000 to upgrade the city's aging wastewater system, including the installation of new sewer lines and a wastewater treatment disinfection system. Henderson is in Vance County.


High Country Council of Governments, $40,000 to study 23 water systems in Watauga County, analyze water resources in the region, find alternative water sources and develop water conservation measures.


Town of Hookerton, $500,000 to improve a regional water system made up of 12 public systems in Greene County, including Hookerton, and the town of Farmville in Pitt County. The regional system aims to reduce groundwater withdrawals by 75 percent by 2018, in accordance with Central Coastal Plain Capacity Use Area rules.


Hopewell Pisgah Water and Sewer District, $460,000 to install equipment that will alleviate low water pressure in three Johnston County subdivisions.


Hyde County, $500,000 to fund the design and construction of a new wastewater treatment plant. The plant will alleviate environmental problems caused by the failure of a waste lagoon and spray field.


Jones County, $500,000 to construct a new supply well and connect it to the county's existing water treatment plant. Jones County operates a regional water system in the Central Coastal Plain Capacity Use Area, whose rules require area wells to reduce groundwater withdrawals. The new well will draw from a different aquifer.


Town of Jonesville, $500,000 to upgrade the town's water treatment plant and expand its capacity. The project is a partnership between the town and Yadkin County. State regulators have determined the plant is in an advanced state of deterioration.


City of Kinston, $500,000 to install new sewer lines and manholes in the Lenoir County town. The project will correct ongoing problems in the town's wastewater system.


City of Laurinburg, $500,000 to upgrade the Scotland County town's aging wastewater system. Recent tests indicate the system is failing.


Town of Littleton, $500,000 to replace deteriorating water lines in the Halifax County town.


City of Locust, $15,000 to prepare a master plan for the city's wastewater system. The plan will help local leaders determine if the system is nearing capacity and address alternatives for wastewater disposal.


Lumber River Council of Governments, $40,000 to monitor groundwater levels in 325 wells in the seven-county area that makes up the proposed Southern Coastal Plain Capacity Use Area. The project also will study the feasibility of establishing regional water and wastewater systems for Bladen, Columbus, Hoke, Richmond, Robeson, Sampson and Scotland counties.


Town of Madison, $40,000 to fund a comprehensive evaluation of the Rockingham County town's wastewater collection system, which is experiencing water infiltration problems.


Town of Magnolia, $149,400 to upgrade aging water lines and create a secondary interconnection to improve the Duplin County town's water distribution system.


City of Marion, $1 million to repair and upgrade Marion's faulty wastewater treatment and collection system. The multistep project will boost capacity and bring the system into compliance with state regulations. Marion is in McDowell County.


Town of Marshall, $40,000 to map the town's water and sewer system and prepare a series of reports to identify needed improvements and aid long-term planning. The town's aging water infrastructure is close to capacity and experiencing significant water loss. Marshall is in Madison County.


Town of Mars Hill, $25,000 to update the town's water and sewer master plan. The new plan will help identify alternative sources of potable water. The N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources lists Mars Hill, in Madison County, as one of the most drought-affected communities in the state.


Town of Marshville, $300,000 to repair and rehabilitate the Union County town's sewer system, which has documented numerous spills.


Town of Mayodan, $40,000 to fund a comprehensive evaluation of the Rockingham County town's wastewater collection system, which is experiencing serious water infiltration problems.


Town of Maysville, $500,000 to install new sewer lines and make related improvements at the Jones County town's wastewater treatment plant.


McDowell County, $256,750 to extend water lines to an area of the county with a history of dry and contaminated wells. Many homes in the area also lack indoor plumbing.


City of Mount Airy, $1 million to extend sewer service to residents of 260 homes in the Hollyview Forest and West Virginia Street areas. The project will alleviate environmental problems caused by failing septic systems in Surry County.


Town of Murphy, $500,000 to upgrade the Cherokee County town's faulty wastewater system by installing new gravity sewer lines and constructing a wastewater equalization basin.


Central Nash Water and Sewer District, $500,000 to extend water lines to an area of the county that relies on private wells known to be contaminated with arsenic and nitrates.


Nash County, $500,000 to install equipment that will enable water to be pumped from Wilson to Rocky Mount as part of a major drought relief project. Nash County and Rocky Mount have been severely affected by the ongoing drought.


Town of North Wilkesboro, $500,000 to extend the town's wastewater system to 58 homes in an area where fecal coliform bacteria have contaminated wells. North Wilkesboro is in Wilkes County.


Town of Oak Island, $500,000 to construct a vacuum collection system to meet the wastewater needs of a substantial portion of the Oak Island community. Wastewater will be treated at the Brunswick County West Regional Treatment Facility, which is being expanded. Oak Island is experiencing water quality problems because of its water table and the prevalence of septic tanks.


Town of Oakboro, $500,000 to upgrade a pump station in an effort to prevent sewer overflows in the Stanly County town. The project also will enable the wastewater system to handle peak wastewater flows for the next 20 years.


City of Oxford, $40,000 to evaluate the city's wastewater system, which is experiencing significant water infiltration problems. Oxford is located in Granville County.


Pamlico County, $339,010 to install dechlorination equipment at each of the county's four water treatment plants. The project will bring the facilities into compliance with state and county permitting requirements.


Pasquotank County, $500,000 to construct a reverse osmosis water treatment plant with the capacity to treat 2 million gallons of wastewater a day. The county's existing plant is exceeding its capacity.


Town of Pikeville, $500,000 to upgrade the town's faulty sewer system with new sewer lines and other equipment that will serve 90 homes and several businesses. Pikeville is in Wayne County.


Town of Pilot Mountain, $21,450 to replace failing transfer pumps at the town's wastewater pumping station. Pilot Mountain is in Surry County.


Town of Pittsboro, $182,500 to upgrade the Chatham County town's water treatment plant. New equipment will ensure the system meets disinfection byproduct standards.


Town of Plymouth, $500,000 to repair and upgrade the town's faulty wastewater treatment system. The system is under a state moratorium for exceeding 90 percent of its capacity and for sanitary sewer overflows. Plymouth is in Washington County.


Town of Princeton, $40,000 to develop a 20-year plan for water resources. The Johnston County town's drinking water and wastewater systems are deteriorating.


Town of Ramseur, $40,000 to develop a 20-year capital improvement plan. The Randolph County town's water supply is threatened by an accumulation of products that break down chlorine.


Town of Robbins, $20,000 for an analysis of the Moore County town's water reservoir and water treatment plant. Significant deterioration has resulted in the plant's being taken offline. Upgrading and bringing the system back online would enable Robbins to take part in a regional water system.


Town of Roper, $130,000 to rehabilitate portions of the Washington County town's sewage collection system.


Town of Roseboro, $325,000 to install a new well and connect it to the town's water treatment plant. An existing well has been contaminated by a leaking underground petroleum tank. Roseboro is in Sampson County.


Town of Rutherfordton, $150,000 to upgrade a wastewater pump station and improve the system's overall ability to handle collected wastewater. The Rutherford County town has experienced sewage overflows over the past two years.


Town of Sharpsburg, $30,000 to fund an engineering report that will address significant water flow problems in the Nash County town.


City of Shelby, $1 million to install equipment that will pump wastewater from a local industry to the city's wastewater treatment plant. The project will remove a wastewater discharge point on Brushy Creek. Shelby is in Cleveland County.


Southwestern Wayne Sanitary District, $500,000 to install pumps and complete other site development at two wells that together will provide 150,000 gallons of water per day.


Town of Sparta, $40,000 to fund a comprehensive review of the Alleghany County town's water and wastewater systems. The study will inventory system assets, identify the cause of a documented 35 percent water loss and develop a long-term improvement plan.


Stanly Water and Sewer Authority, $500,000 to provide public drinking water to an area east of Albemarle where coliform bacteria and arsenic have contaminated wells.


Town of Snow Hill, $500,000 to make improvements to a regional water system made up of 12 public systems in Greene County, including Snow Hill, and the town of Farmville in Pitt County. The regional system is aimed at reducing groundwater withdrawals by 75 percent by 2018, in accordance with Central Coastal Plain Capacity Use Area rules.


Stokes County, $500,000 to improve the town of Danbury's water quality, stop water loss and correct low-pressure problems. State regulators have documented radium levels above allowable limits in the water system.


Surry County, $553,000 to extend water service to 96 homes and an elementary school in an area of the county with several contaminated wells.


Town of Tabor City, $500,000 to rehabilitate and repair the Columbus County town's faulty wastewater system.


Town of Taylorsville, $480,000 to upgrade aging and faulty components of the town's wastewater collection and treatment system. Taylorsville is in Alexander County.


Town of Trenton, $500,000 to rehabilitate and upgrade the town's wastewater collection and treatment system. The project will correct environmental health problems caused by the aging system and boost capacity for additional customers. Trenton is in Jones County.


Tuckasegee Water and Sewer Authority, $500,000 to upgrade and expand the authority's wastewater treatment plant. The project will improve performance of the Jackson County wastewater system.


Town of Wadesboro, $500,000 to upgrade Wadesboro's water treatment plant. The Anson County town's wastewater system has been cited for exceeding contaminant levels.


Town of Wallace, $30,000 to fund a comprehensive study of the Duplin County town's wastewater system in preparation for expansion and maintenance. The system has been under state moratorium since it reached 80 percent of its daily capacity.


Walnut Island Sanitary District, $500,000 to upgrade the district's wastewater system with the installation of gravity sewer pipes. The system's discharge contains nitrate, fecal coliform bacteria and chlorine levels above permitted levels. The district is in Currituck County.


Town of Walstonburg, $500,000 to improve a regional water system made up of 12 public systems in Greene County, including Walstonburg, and the town of Farmville in Pitt County. The regional system is aimed at reducing groundwater withdrawals by 75 percent by 2018, in accordance with Central Coastal Plain Capacity Use Area rules.


Town of Warrenton, $40,000 to fund two studies that will help the Warren County town identify the cause of wastewater system failures and develop recommendations for improvements.


Town of Weldon, $40,000 to study excessive water infiltration in the Halifax County town's wastewater system and develop recommendations for repair.


Town of Wilkesboro, $39,250 to fund an analysis of the town's aging wastewater system, which is plagued by broken lines, old pipes and root intrusion. The report will determine immediate needs and identify future improvements for the Wilkes County town.


Wilson County Southeast Water District, $321,336 to extend water lines to 80 homes in an area with contaminated wells.


Town of Windsor, $500,000 to construct two wells that will improve drinking water quality and capacity for the Bertie County town.


Town of Windsor, $29,500 to identify and plan for needed improvements to the water and wastewater systems. The Bertie County town has documented water quality problems and is losing more than 15 percent of its water supply to leaking pipes and deteriorating equipment.


Yadkin Valley Sewer Authority, $1 million to enable the towns of Elkin, Jonesville and Ronda to consolidate their sewage systems. The new system will alleviate environmental problems, boost capacity and promote efficiency.


Yadkin County, $500,000 to upgrade Jonesville's water treatment plant and expand its capacity. The project is a partnership between the town of Jonesville and Yadkin County. State regulators have determined the plant to be in an advanced state of deterioration.



The center awarded 28 grants totaling $5.6 million for job-creating investments in water and wastewater systems, vacant commercial buildings and innovative economic development projects. Over the next two years the projects are expected to create more than 550 jobs and at least 58 new businesses.


Water and Sewer Infrastructure

City of Locust, $70,115 in additional funding to extend water and sewer service to the new site of an industrial service business. The Rural Center awarded the city a $39,435 grant in February 2008 for the project, which has since grown in scope. The expanded project will result in 11 full-time jobs.


Moore County, $650,000 to extend water and sewer service to a sports and leisure development that will include a retail shop and restaurant. The project will create 65 full-time jobs.


Town of Yanceyville, $8,445 to extend sewer service to the site of a business relocating to Yanceyville. The move will allow the business to open a bakery and delicatessen, which require municipal sewer service. The project will create one full-time job.


Building Reuse and Restoration

Town of Aberdeen, $200,000 to renovate and upfit the Intek Building, which has been vacant for more than four years, for use by a manufacturer that will create 20 full-time jobs.


Town of Broadway, $40,000 to upfit a vacant building for use by a new manufacturing sales and service business that will create four full-time jobs.


Caldwell County, $100,000 to renovate and upfit a vacant Kincaid furniture plant in Lenoir for use by a specialty wood products business that will create 10 full-time jobs.


Lee County, $300,000 to upfit an industrial building vacant for more than eight years for use by a Florida-based paper processing business that will create 30 full-time jobs.


McDowell County, $400,000 to McDowell County to renovate a textile building in Old Fort for use by an electronics refurbishing business. The building has been largely vacant for 24 years. The business is relocating from New York and will create 40 full-time jobs.


Town of Tarboro, $250,000 to renovate the former Long Agribusiness Tobacco Barn for use by its new owner, a local manufacturer. The company will create 25 full-time jobs at the site.


City of Warrenton, $24,780 to assess the feasibility of renovating a vacant 1906-era building and redeveloping the site as retail, office and residential space.


Town of Washington, $200,000 to upfit a portion of a large complex of buildings for use by a local boat builder with plans to expand and create 25 full-time jobs.


Economic Innovation

Environmental Education Fund, $50,000 to survey North Carolina's "green" economic development needs and to increase awareness among economic developers of green development options and their economic benefits.


HandMade in America, $295,000 to fund the organization's craft, architecture and design program. The program helps craft entrepreneurs grow their businesses by connecting with professionals in the architecture, building and design community.


Mitchell County Historic Courthouse Foundation, $200,000 to renovate the Mitchell County courthouse with the goal of using the historic building to attract economic, educational and cultural activity to the area.


Montgomery Economic Development Corp., $36,000 to fund planning and pre-development work related to the Uwharrie Conference Center. Once completed, the facility will offer conference and meeting space for small and mid-sized businesses, trade and leisure groups, and will help draw tourism and related economic development opportunities to Montgomery County.


North Carolina State University, College of Design, $70,000 to study the economic impact of design efforts in small towns, develop a planning guide on the fundamentals of the design process, detail best practices and resources for design and planning, and provide targeted technical assistance to towns participating in the Rural Center's N.C. Small Towns Economic Prosperity Demonstration Program.


North Carolina's Northeast Partnership, $75,000 to fund the Northeastern North Carolina Hub & Spoke Tourism Development Initiative. The initiative is designed to increase tourism by developing tourism itineraries and inventories for tour operators, a new regional tourism website and marketing programs.


Opportunities Industrialization Center of Wilson, $325,000 to fund Project Positive Changes, a skills training and support services program for industrial maintenance mechanics and certified nurse assistants. The grant will enable the OIC to offer training opportunities to former tobacco workers and other unemployed and underemployed workers.


Penland School of Crafts, $100,000 to fund the Penland Artisan Cluster program, designed to support place-based, artisan-driven entrepreneurship throughout the community.


Red Springs and Northern Foundation, $75,000 to restore the Red Springs and Northern Railroad with the goal of attracting tourists and new business activity.


City of Reidsville, $200,000 to implement a series of projects aimed at revitalizing downtown Reidsville.


Roanoke Economic Development, $300,000 to help implement the Energy-Efficient Renovations and Repairs Program, which will work to promote energy conservation, economic growth and job creation in northeastern North Carolina.


Rosenwald Center for Cultural Enrichment, $75,000 to create jobs and businesses in downtown Snow Hill, with special emphasis on the West Harper Street area. The project will work to develop the local tourism industry and entrepreneurship.


StokesCORE, $209,000 to create new markets for existing and future value-added community kitchens in Stokes County and western North Carolina. The community kitchens will stimulate entrepreneurship and rural economic revitalization by creating market opportunities for locally grown agricultural products.


Transylvania Vocational Services, $100,000 to purchase and install packaging equipment that will allow the organization to expand a program providing job training and employment for people with disabilities.


Warren County Training School/North Warren High School Alumni and Friends Association, $150,000 to fund the Warren County trade training program. The program offers skills training in heavy equipment operation and facility maintenance.


WestCare, $400,000 to construct a new child-care center with the capacity for 56 children. The center will provide affordable and accessible day care to working parents in Jackson County, creating the potential for new business and job opportunities.


Wilkes Community College and the Northwest North Carolina Advanced Materials Cluster, $400,000 to fund the Workforce Preparation System, designed to meet the immediate hiring needs of employers while working to build a skilled workforce capable of filling the jobs of the future.


Yadkin-Pee Dee Lakes Project, $400,000 to implement two local development programs aimed at growing jobs and boosting community capacity for economic development. The STARworks Business Development program will attract new businesses and expand existing businesses by establishing a sales and exhibition gallery, a glassblowing program, a graphic design apprenticeship and a biodiesel plant internship program. The SEEDS project will provide communities with technical assistance and a website designed to promote tourism and business opportunities in the region being marketed as Central Park.



The Clean Water Partners Infrastructure Fund was established by the N.C. General Assembly in the summer of 2007. Lawmakers directed the Rural Center to invest $100 million in water and sewer grants to correct public health and environmental problems in rural and economically distressed communities. Of the total, $10 million was set aside to address crisis needs in drinking water supplies, including drought-related problems.


The Economic Infrastructure Fund was created by state lawmakers in 2004 to help rural communities devastated by manufacturing job losses. The program helps lay the groundwork - water, sewer and buildings - needed to attract and sustain business development. To be eligible for EIF funding, projects must be tied directly to job creation. Local governments in rural and distressed counties are eligible for funding.


The Building Reuse and Restoration Program, a component of the Economic Infrastructure Fund, helps communities restore and renovate vacant commercial buildings for use by new and expanding businesses. The program helps companies reduce the overhead costs associated with relocating or expanding and stimulates the local economy through job growth and infrastructure development. There are two categories for funding - planning and implementation. Local governments are eligible to apply with priority given to towns with a population of 5,000 or less.


The Economic Innovation Grants Program funds innovative local and regional economic development projects that spur business activity, create jobs and further public and private investment in rural North Carolina. It has two categories for funding: Economic Stimulus Investments, for large-scale economic development projects; and Community Innovations Investments, to jump-start or expand innovative development projects that show potential for diversification and sustainability.


The N.C. Rural Economic Development Center is a private, nonprofit organization whose mission is to develop sound economic strategies that improve the quality of life in rural North Carolina, with a special focus on individuals with low to moderate incomes and communities with limited resources. The center operates a multifaceted program that includes conducting research into rural issues; testing promising rural development strategies; advocating for policy and program innovations; and building the productive capacity of rural leaders, entrepreneurs and community organizations.