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N.C. budget contains $31 million for county

The budget headed for adoption by the General Assembly includes an appropriation that would cover most of the cost of a new wastewater treatment plant to serve the apple country plus money for the Ecusta Trail, Flat Rock Playhouse, a new substance abuse treatment center and more.

"Henderson County did pretty good in this budget," state Sen. Chuck Edwards said.

In all, the budget contains $31 million for local government, outdoor recreational improvements and nonprofits.

Among the largest appropriations is a $12.7 million grant to Henderson County for a new sewage treatment plant. The county must get the project approved by the end of 2023.

"They'll have to lay out the case for it with the DEQ," Edwards said, referring to the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality. "If they don't, the funds come back to the city of Hendersonville so we get to keep it anyway and then the city and county can decide how best to solve the problem of sewage treatment out on that end of the county."

Rep. Tim Moffitt joined Edwards in highlighting numerous local appropriations

“This is a great budget, especially for the people of Henderson County,” Moffitt said in a news release. “I was proud to help secure nearly $30 million in the budget to support our communities and local infrastructure. It is an honor to serve the citizens of Western North Carolina.”

The budget also includes $5 million to the city for a wastewater treatment plant upgrade. Edwards on Wednesday read from two pages of appropriations for Henderson, Buncombe and Transylvania counties. Appropriations include $600,000 for Ecusta Trail construction, $750,000 for Dupont State Forest, $1.5 million for First Contact Ministry, for construction of a substance abuse treatment facility and $100,000 for the Flat Rock Playhouse, $300,000 for repairs to Lake Hosea dam, a high-hazard structure that "desperately needs repair." The budget also contains $30 million for an I-26 interchange to serve the new Pratt & Whitney jet engine plant.

Moffitt praised the budget's pay raises and bonuses for teachers and state employees, as well as historic investments in education, infrastructure and health care. In addition to the water-sewer system grants for Henderson County and the city of Hendersonville, he also cited:


  • $12 million for Henderson county water and sewer infrastructure.
  • $7.5 million for Big Hungry dam removal project.
  • $1 million for French Broad River at Pleasant Grove.
  • $950,000 for Bat Fork Stream restoration.
  • $500,000 for the Muddy Sneakers outdoor education program.
  • $317,000 Laurel Green Creek restoration in for Laurel Park 
  • $300,000 for Hemlock Restoration Initiative.
  • $200,000 for Crossnore Children’s Home.
Other funding for Henderson County and the region includes $1 million in Recreation and Tourism Development funds for Watauga Paddle Trail, Bryson City/Tuckaseegee Outdoor Recreation Expansion, town of Andrews expansion of paddle trails, city of Shelby creation of fishing, paddle, and boat access, matching funds for Watagua Dam Removal and Green River gameland recreation area.
Moffitt and Edwards also helped to bring in $300,000 for Blue Ridge Community College skilled trade program and $250,000 for BRCC and Henderson County public safety training center.

This is the first time since 2018 the state has had an overall budget to be enacted into law. Gov. Roy Cooper said this week he'll sign the budget. In the past three years he has vetoed budgets the Republican-controlled General Assembly adopted in disputes over Medicaid expansion, emergency powers and other policy differences. Already approved this week by the Senate, the budget is expected to win final passage in the House Thursday.