Defense cuts could impact area as city takes step toward growth

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Cherry Point and its Marines and civilian workers could be impacted by defense cuts in 2013.

Havelock News file photo
Published: Wednesday, January 2, 2013 at 06:18 PM.

The year 2013 may just be a momentous time in the history of Havelock. It may just be remembered as the year the city took a step toward future progress.

But anxiety over defense spending cuts and the impacts it may have on Cherry Point and the area economy doesn’t appear to be going away anytime soon.

Havelock has a number of projects on tap in 2013, the biggest of which could be the first step toward future city growth.

Work on an estimated $9.8 million sewer project is expected to start this year, with an expansion of the sewer plant as well as relocation of the sewer discharge pipe from Slocum Creek to the Neuse River.

The project will increase sewer capacity, clearing the way for potential residential and commercial growth. Currently, the city has little sewer allotment available for new businesses or residential developments.

"You can actually put out a sign that says we’re open for business," said Jim Freeman, Havelock city manager. "It’s very important for us down the road that we will not have that limitation for decades. Probably from 18 to 24 months when the project is actually completed you will see the capacity for future growth. It really opens up a new chapter for Havelock in terms of economic development and the future."

The city has $11.8 million available in grants and loans from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for the project, with bids for the work coming in at $9.8 million. Work that involves putting down about six miles of new pipe through Cherry Point to reach the Neuse River could begin in March or April.

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