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What is the purpose of the two backhoes and big pipes off of U.S. 17 near Scotts Hill?

The two orange J.C. Bamford excavators seen on U.S. 17 digging and lowering pipes into the ground are evidence that a $3 million water distribution system that Pender County officials have been planning for about seven years is finally being created.

The county plans to lay about 20 miles of pipe to provide a public water supply system to Scotts Hill residents, who currently rely on private wells. It is projected that by 2012 approximately 800 commercial and residential properties in the Scotts Hill water and sewer district will be using water from this new water system.

Melinda Knoerzer, administrative assistant for Pender County Utilities, said that work started in the area south of Brown Town and near the south end of Scotts Hill Loop Road on Oct. 22, 2010.

In August 2010, Herring-Rivenbark Inc. was awarded a contract for the construction of the Scotts Hill Water Distribution system after the Pender County Board of Commissioners approved awarding the base bid to the company for its bid of $1,935,276.44.

Thirty-two days later, county officials joined by representatives from USDA Rural Development and the offices of U.S. Rep. Mike McIntyre, U.S. Sen. Richard Burr and U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan broke ground in a ceremony marking the beginning of the Scotts Hill water system.

Even though talks for the project apparently began in 2003, it took time to get enough residents to sign up for the system, which was needed to pay for the system. Voters approved bond funding in 2006. The water project is expected to be completed in about nine months.

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