Town hopes to tap into funds for water

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— Town officials should know by the end of the year whether they have funding from two sources to make more than $1 million worth of improvements to the town's aging water plant.

The low-interest loan would be between $800,000 and $900,000 from the state, which would bolster a $300,000 Energy Impact Grant.

At this point, town officials are optimistic both funding sources will be available for improvements to be made to the 25-year-old plant next year.

"We are hopeful both sources of funding will come in," Town Manager Rob Straebel said.

The town's water facility is in need of major upgrades. A consulting firm has identified that $2.3 million worth of improvements need to be done within the next 10 years. At least $1.4 million of the improvements need to be done by next year.

Improvements the town intends to get done by next year include adding a high-service pumping station to expand capacity.

The plant's chlorine process is also an area the town is intending to improve.

Work toward making those improvements a reality got a boost this past week. Recently, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment notified the town its proposed water project meets the state's requirements for financial assistance.

"This is certainly good news," Straebel said.

The state department notified the town the water project is eligible for a loan from the state's Drinking Water Revolving Fund Program.

The program is designed to provide low-interest loans to rural communities that are improving drinking water to meet guidelines set by the government.

With the news, the town is expecting to submit its application for the loan, which will be paid off in 20 years, by next week, Straebel said.

Straebel expects for the town to know if they get the loan in early October.

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