Ostwalt Amity area project will provide service to existing homes, new developments and future Weathers Creek High School

Special to Iredell Free News

Iredell Water Corporation has completed construction of its Ostwalt Amity area project, a major expansion of drinking water service to existing homes, several new developments and the future Weathers Creek High School.

The project included the installation of 14 miles of new water mains, the use of two new groundwater sources and a 300,000-gallon water tank.

As a result of the project, Iredell Water will be able to bring service to areas of the county that have only been able to use private wells.

Iredell Water’s services will now reach 12 of the county’s 16 townships through more than 400 miles of water mains, helping improve the area’s “economy of scale,” which adds to Iredell Water’s ability to keep rates, fees, and construction costs affordable for its customers in the years ahead.

Iredell Water’s total investment in the project is $5.9 million and is being provided through a combination of low-interest loans from USDA Rural Development and CoBank, and funds from Iredell County and Iredell Water. Note: The project is not being funded by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 or the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

USDA Rural Development helps rural communities obtain the financing necessary to develop drinking water systems because safe drinking water is vital not only to public health but also to the economic vitality of rural America. When municipalities cannot or, for various reasons, will not provide water service to rural communities, USDA Rural Development funds are available to help pay for more sparsely populated areas to connect to safe, clean water.

“The financial assistance provided by USDA Rural Development will assure current and future residents have access to clean drinking water,” said USDA Rural Development State Director for North Carolina Reginald Speight. “The partnership between Iredell Water Corporation and USDA Rural Development goes back five decades, and we are proud of our continued support of this growing area of rural North Carolina.”

“I have long been a supporter of rural water systems and the opportunities they provide to communities here in the Tenth District,” said U.S. Congressman Patrick McHenry. “I am excited for what the completion of the USDA-Rural Development water extension project will mean for the portions of the Iredell County community that were previously unserved by public water. This completed project will not only bring public water to local residents, but it will also aid the development of economic opportunities and serve the Tenth District students attending Iredell County’s newest high school.”

A provider of essential funding and expertise during the project, CoBank is one of the largest private providers of credit to the U.S. rural economy. The bank delivers loans, leases, and other financial services to rural infrastructure customers in all 50 states. “CoBank knows the importance of providing access to safe, clean drinking water all across America,” said Julia McCusker, regional vice president for CoBank. “We provide funding and other financial services to water providers like Iredell Water so they can construct systems that will greatly benefit the communities they serve.”

As in years past, Iredell County is providing funds to improve fire protection in the area through the installation of new hydrants, resulting in the likely reduction of home insurance rates in the area.

“Over the years, the county has assisted in funding the installation of new hydrants in projects such as this,” said County Manager Beth Mull. “It provides us the opportunity to benefit Iredell County residents in a number of ways. Not only are they receiving the physical benefit of increased fire flow to increase protection of themselves, their families, and their properties, but they will also receive the financial benefit of lower home or business insurance rates.”

These hydrants will allow Iredell Water to provide any excess flow or capacity, above the needs for drinking water, to volunteer fire departments in the county for use in firefighting situations.

“We moved forward with the Ostwalt Amity Area project because we knew this expansion of our service area would produce a wide range of benefits to all of our customers and the community for decades to come,” said Danny Sloan, Iredell Water Corporation assistant manager. “Our Board of Directors has continually focused on growth and community needs, and we thank Congressman McHenry, our partners with USDA Rural Development, CoBank, and Iredell County for their help in extending and strengthening our system.”

LEARN MORE

For more information about the Ostwalt Amity area water system expansion, with a map and a list of street addresses where the work took place, please visit www.iredellwater.com/current-projects.

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