Funds available for renovation

Phippsburg awarded grant, loan for wastewater plant

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— The town of Phippsburg has received funding for a significant upgrade to its wastewater treatment plant.

Mike Zopf, Routt County director of environmental health, said Tuesday that the state Department of Local Affairs has awarded the town a $146,400 grant for the project, along with a $116,000 loan. The funding enables the first major renovation of the plant since it began operating in 1976, Zopf said. The grant is part of the state's energy and mineral impact assistance program. Users of the plant will pay taxes to repay the loan, which Zopf said has a 5 percent interest rate.

Phippsburg has put $30,000 in revenues from the current treatment plant toward the project.

The plant has used a sand-filter system since 1976. That system will be replaced with a treatment system involving constructed wetlands, which he described as a proven, environmentally sound technology, Zopf said.

"We're not aware of any other similar facility in this part of the state," Zopf told Routt County commissioners Tuesday. "We're really excited about it."

County commissioners are acting as the funding agent for the grant and loan, since Phippsburg has no town government.

Last month, Oak Creek Mayor Kathy "Cargo" Rodeman received $3.2 million in grants and loans to fund construction of a new wastewater treatment plant and nearly 27,000 feet of replacement sewer pipes.

That funding includes a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Development division for $1,524,000; a grant from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs for $498,697; and a $1.2 million loan from the USDA, to be paid off in annual installments of about $64,000.

- To reach Mike Lawrence, call 871-4203 or e-mail mlawrence@steamboatpilot.com

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