MARTIN COUNTY, N.C. (WITN) - People in Martin County in need of safe drinking water will soon see that flowing.
Congressman G.K. Butterfield (NC-D) was in the East Wednesday to present county leaders with a check to improve the water system there.
With the water system infringing on residents’ most basic needs, the money is expected to change lives.
“We would benefit greatly from having a source of potable water,” said Martin County resident Early Whitehurst, Jr.
For Whitehurst and his neighbors, if they want freshwater, they have to treat their well supply with a myriad of salt and minerals to make it safe.
But Whitehurst says most of his neighbors are retirees that can’t afford the added sodium in their meal plans.
“So, it’s kind of a dietary issue, along with the rust and the appliance issues,” added Whitehurst.
The county applied for a federal grant through Butterfield’s office. Wednesday they received a big check, in more ways than one.
“There’s nothing more important than safe, clean water,” expressed Butterfield. “So many communities now are suffering from contaminated wells and aquifers are being infiltrated with toxins and the water is not safe.”
Nearly $3.5 million was allocated to improve county water systems through a Community Project Fund grant.
The money will help bare another load for Whitehurst and his neighbors. For those on a fixed income, added bills to clean their well supply don’t make budgeting easy.
Whitehurst says the water bill can be an additional $60.00 to $100.00 a month to factor in, and he has a suggestion for the next issue to tackle.
Right now Whitehurst says he has to pay for satellite TV, Dish internet, and a landline phone all separately.
“We feel if we could get broadband in the community, we could combine all three items on one bill,” said Whitehurst.
Congressman Butterfield’s office will be taking a look at the next round of appropriations submissions for the 2023 fiscal year soon. The deadline to submit proposals comes at 5:00 p.m. Thursday afternoon.
From those submissions, the congressman can select up to 15 project funding requests for further consideration.
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