If Moore County won't help pay for an engineering study of one option for bringing more water to its citizens, Representative Jamie Boles figures it's time to ask the citizens themselves for the funding, and Seven Lakes Civic group is chipping in $100 to help.
Boles announced on Friday, June 25 that the Moore County Chamber of Commerce was establishing a fund and seeking contributions to raise Moore County's $2,500 share of the cost of a $78,000 preliminary engineering study that aims to estimate the cost of bringing water from the Lumber River to Moore County and to other participating counties and towns.
The Seven Lakes Civic Group announced on Tuesday that it would be contributing $100 toward the effort.
"The Seven Lakes community, the third largest community in Moore County, has been the recipients of a number of water use restrictions imposed by Moore County Public Utilities over the last several years," noted the Civic Group's press release announcing the contribution." The County has been studying the problem in depth for more than four years with no plan of action yet to be in place. The Seven Lakes Civic Group supports a regional approach for the long term solution to Moore County’s water supply problems."
Moore County's Board of Commissioners on June 21 voted against providing the $2,500 local match requested by the Lumber River Council of Governments [LRCOG], which is assembling a group of interested counties and municipalities to fund a study of water distribution and wastewater collection costs required to connect those communities to a water and wastewater plant near Wagram, in Scotland County. Half of the study's $78,000 cost will be covered by a grant from the North Carolina Rural Economic Development Center; LRCOG is using a federal grant to pick up another $22,375 of the tab.
The county contends that a state senator and two representatives — including Boles — promised from the initial organizational meetings that the state would cover the whole cost of the study. Board of Commissioners Chairman Tim Lea made that point in a June 24 letter to Boles informing him of the county's decision not to contribute the requested $2,500.
The next day, Boles held a press conference and announced his plan to ask citizens to support the effort.
"If the county don't want to step up to the plate," Boles said, "that's fine. Let the citizens step up to the plate."