Town gets grant

Oak Creek receives $500K to renovate water treatment plant

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Oak Creek received the full $500,000 grant it requested from the Energy and Mineral Impact Assistance Program to renovate its wastewater treatment plant.

"I'm very psyched about it," Oak Creek Mayor Kathy "Cargo" Rodeman said.

Rodeman said she was not surprised that the Department of Local Affairs, which dispenses the funds to areas affected by energy and mineral development, saw the urgent need the town was facing.

At a meeting of the state advisory committee last week, all members of the committee recommended that the project receive full funding.

Rodeman said the "most wonderful thing in the world" is to hear every member recommend full funding.

Also, the town of Hayden has received more than $450,000 in grants and loans from the Energy Impact funds. The funds will be used to expand the town's water treatment plant.

Statewide, the program awarded $12.7 million in funds to 43 projects.

Oak Creek has a state order to upgrade its antiquated wastewater treatment plant by the fall of 2004, but the order fell through the cracks until last spring.

To comply with the state order, the town is proposing a $1 million renovation project. The remaining funds are expected to come from a grant and loan combination from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which could announce whether those funds have been awarded by the end of this year.

The project will add a new system to control ammonia effluent limits and disinfection. Those improvements will prevent health violations because of elevated ammonia, town officials have said.

Hayden's proposed project will double the town's water production by adding two water filters to the town's existing two filters. It will provide a backup generator in case of power loss and let the town buy about five acres of land around the plant that is needed for expansion.

The Energy and Mineral Impact Assistance program's funds come from the state severance tax on oil, gas, carbon dioxide, coal and metals and from the state's share of royalties paid to the federal government for the extraction of minerals and mineral fuels on federal land.

"This program helps meet a variety of critical needs within Colorado communities," said Mike Beasley, executive director of the Department of Local Affairs. "The department takes great pride in knowing that we are helping local governments with public safety, roads, water and a variety of other services."

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