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USDA: $26 Million for Rural Michigan Water, Waste Infrastructure
Michigan Ag Connection - 05/29/2020

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) State Director Jason Allen announced that the department is investing $281 million in 106 projects to improve water and wastewater infrastructure in rural communities in 36 states and Puerto Rico. USDA is funding the projects through the Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant program.

"These investments will help improve water quality and safety for many rural Michigan residents. They will replace old, fragile systems with new ones and allow upgrades to facilities that are decades old, boosting efficiencies and addressing environmental hazards," Allen said. "Under the leadership of President Trump and Agriculture Secretary Perdue, USDA is committed to partnering with rural communities to help them improve their infrastructure, because when rural America thrives, all of America thrives."

USDA is funding projects in Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

Eligible applicants include rural cities, towns and water districts. The funds can be used for drinking water, stormwater drainage and waste disposal systems in rural communities that meet population limits. In Michigan, there are ten rural communities that will receive funding:

- Houghton will use a $1,926,000 million loan and a $974,000 grant for water and sewer improvements as part of their Phase Three Plan. The existing sewer is over 100 years old and is in poor condition. The old sewer main is also susceptible to inflow and infiltration. The project will replace the sewer main on nine streets. The 120-year-old water main has deteriorated and is undersized for current water demands. Michigan Department of Transportation will also be replacing roadway in this section which will save the water customers the expense of restoration. Approximately one mile of water main will be replaced, along with replacement of the system wide generator. The water system is comprised of distribution main, elevated tank, wells, booster stations and treatment plant. These upgrades will serve 3,856 users.

- Manistee will use a $300,000 loan to rehabilitate deficient sewer mains in three flow districts. The city has had combined sewer overflows from the wastewater treatment plant to the Manistee River. This project will address this health and safety violation and serves 6,491 users. These additional Rural Development funds are needed to complete the project that was initially funded in 2018 for $4.4 million.

- Manistique will use a $225,000 loan and a $1,034,000 million grant to replace undersized water mains and fix the current sewer system which is currently not in compliance with permitting because of combined sewer overflows. It will address eliminating sources of excessive inflow and infiltration into the sewer system This project will serve 3,171 users. These additional Rural Development funds are needed to complete the project that was initially funded in 2018 for $3.1 million.

- Martin will use a $567,000 loan and a $150,000 grant to improve the sewer system. An evaluation of the system revealed that two pump stations are in very poor to fair condition and lack several recommended safety measures. The project provides for lift station upgrades and manhole repairs. The sewer system serves 410 users.

- McBain will use a $2,048,000 million loan and a $4,444,000 million grant to improve their municipal water system. The proposed project will replace watermain, replace wells, modify the storage tank and install water meters, along with the construction of an iron removal plant which will alleviate the poor water quality from the well field. The water system serves 394 users.

- Petersburg will use a $4,821,000 million loan to improve the municipal water system constructed in the 1940s. The latest improvement was done in 2003. The existing watermain is old and undersized using asbestos cement. The community has experienced many watermain breaks in the past few years. Almost 20 streets will be upgraded by horizontally drilling and installing parallel water mains to the existing water mains. The sewer system serves 1,304 users.

- Dorr Township-Leighton Township Wastewater Authority in Allegan County will use a $2,346,000 million loan to help finance the expansion of their wastewater treatment plant. The plant serves 1,092 users.

- Benzonia will use a $140,000 loan to make water system improvements. The project will replace various sections of watermain, install a new well, paint the water tower, install a generator and replace water meters. The water system serves 497 users.

- Blissfield will use a $6,849,000 million loan to make improvements to their sewer system. The sewer collection system was installed in 1981 with no major improvements since. The system was recently evaluated and funded by the state of Michigan Stormwater Asset Management and Wastewater (SAW) grant. The system is comprised of collection with pump stations with treatment by the city of Plainwell. Two pump stations are in very poor to fair condition and lack several recommended safety measures. The proposed project will include lift station upgrades and manhole repairs. The sewer system serves 3,452 users.

- Ravenna will use a $132,000 loan to rehabilitate and repair the lift stations and the wastewater treatment plant. The sewer system serves 1,195 users. These additional Rural Development funds are needed to complete the project that was initially funded in 2018 for $1.9 million.


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