The Town of Stokesdale has had its own water system for years, and now, thanks to a number of new grants, it has several million dollars to spend on that system.

On Thursday, Nov.10, the Stokesdale Town Council will discuss some water system projects under consideration.

Those include possibly extending the water system to provide municipal water to a “historically underserved quadrant,” or making a number of improvements like adding a stirrer/diffuser to the water tank and increasing the water pressure.

There are other possible water projects that could also be discussed at the Nov. 10 meeting. The Town Council won’t vote for any water plans that night. However, the council sent out a notice inviting residents to provide input. (The council did advise that, at the meeting, it may vote to initiate a process to hear from potential vendors for engineering, design and surveying.)

The Town of Stokesdale has owned and run the town’s water system for almost two decades and the number of the town’s water customers has grown by roughly 35 percent in the last three years

While Stokesdale residents have for the most part embraced the water system, in other small towns, a lot of people worry about potential future municipal water systems.  For instance, many people in Summerfield are fighting water system creation tooth and nail because they believe that the new infrastructure will bring development and upset their rural way of life.

Currently, there’s a whole lot of federal relief grant money flowing through Guilford County government into the county’s towns to be used for water system development and improvements.

Two years ago, Stokesdale was awarded a grant from the State of North Carolina for municipal water system improvements in the amount of $1.1 million to be obligated by June 30, 2023.  The town later received $725,000 from the American Rescue Plan (ARP). That money must be obligated by the end of 2024 or sent back. Two months ago, the Guilford County Board of Commissioners voted to award Stokesdale $3.1 million for water system improvements.  That money was also from the ARP. This pool of funds has to be obligated by the end of 2024.

The grants to the Town of Stokesdale amount to just under $5 million.

Town officials have held public water workshop meetings every other week since August to discuss capital investments and water system improvements with area residents.