NORTH AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – The city of North Augusta is getting about $7.6 million from the South Carolina Rural Infrastructure Authority to renovate its sewer lines. It’s the largest competitive grant the city has ever received.

“It’s huge for the community,” said Eric Presnell, a North Augusta City Councilman. “That frees up money that would normally have to be spent somewhere else, to be able to go in and do some other projects that are needed. This is something that’s needed to be done for a while.”

The current sewer pipes date back to the 1950s, and are in need of new lining.

“The pipes are in various stages of disrepair,” said Rachelle Moody, the North Augusta Assistant City Administrator. “In some places they’re cracked, in some places they’re caving in, and we’ve done what we can to keep them operational until now. But, based on the scoping and the CCTV video that we have, it’s apparent that something needs to be done sooner than later.”

Overall, the project will cost around $9 million, so the city will be making up the remaining $1.4 million.

“It’s absolutely worth it,” Moody said.

The city leaders said the renovation process should not interrupt service to people who live in North Augusta.

They also said this will free up some funds to go toward other projects.

“Grants are a really good thing – and not just this one,” Presnell said. “My four years on council we have had many grants come in, and it does wonderful things for the community. Ultimately it helps keep our tax rates a little bit lower when we can do things like that.”

The project is still in the planning stages, but it Moody said it should take about a year for it to be underway.