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Upgrading infrastructure: USDA providing $2.9M funding package for Maynard

MAYNARD — The city of Maynard is moving forward with plans to upgrade its wastewater treatment infrastructure and put its worries of backups and flooding behind it, thanks to $2.9 million in funding being provided by the United States Department of Agriculture, Rural Development.

Maynard City Council members approved action at their meeting on Tuesday for engineers to begin developing the bid specifications for the project, according to Mayor Richard Groothuis.

The city wants to call for bids so that work can get underway early next year.

The city had been seeking both state and USDA Rural Development funds to address its infrastructure needs. The long delayed approval of the new Farm Bill made possible the recently awarded USDA Rural Development funding, which will cover the entire project.

The city is expecting a 60 percent grant, 40 percent low-interest loan package from Rural Development for the project, according to John Meyer, consultant for the city.

The city’s infrastructure needs proved urgent during Easter weekend in 2013 when a sanitary sewer line collapsed. The city took action to repair the line and subsequently upgraded a lift station.

The city will be upgrading its entire wastewater collection system, as well as making improvements to the wastewater treatment plant.

The city also has a $760,000 flood mitigation grant from the state of Minnesota. It will allow the city to build earthen berms to protect the wastewater treatment plant from flooding.

The city is working with the USDA to make the overall project as affordable as possible to residents in the community of 366. Groothuis noted that the community has a significant number of senior citizens on fixed incomes.

The investment in infrastructure is needed to protect existing homes and businesses, and important for the community’s future, Groothuis said. It assures that the city has the infrastructure in place for future residential or commercial growth.  

Tom Cherveny

Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.

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