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Funds to help water treatment projects in area

ST. PAUL -- Three area communities are among those receiving grant and low-interest loan funds from the state and federal governments to help with the costs of improvements to their water treatment and distribution systems.

Bird Island, Cosmos and Redwood Falls were notified that they will be receiving funds from the Minnesota Public Facilities Authority and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act or federal stimulus program for their projects.

Bird Island will receive $812,077 in grant funds and a $150,632 loan at 1 percent interest over 20 years. The funds will help with costs for building a water treatment plant and developing a new well to serve the community of 1,120, according to information from the Minnesota Public Facilities Authority.

The new well is located outside of the city limits and taps a larger aquifer than the current's city well, according to Mayor Robert Seidl Jr. He said the new treatment plant is roughly two months from completion.

The city of Cosmos will receive $360,676 in grant funds and a $243,200 loan at 1 percent interest over 20 years.

It is improving its distribution system in conjunction with earlier work to upgrade its water treatment system, which serves a population of 525. The city had invested in the plant to meet reduced arsenic limits set by the federal government. The upgraded plant removes arsenic to meet the stricter standards as well as iron and manganese to reduce hardness.

The city of Redwood Falls will receive $6.5 million in loan funds at 2.9 percent interest over 30 years and $2.32 million in grant funds. The monies will assist the city with a project to develop a new, reverse osmosis water treatment plant, reconstruct a distribution line, and demolish the existing plant. The water system serves 5,270 residents.