August 15, 2008

Crapo Announces $7.2 Million For Plummer Water

Combination of loans and grants could end city's building moratorium

Plummer - Idaho Senator Mike Crapo today joined Plummer Mayor Tim Clark and Coeur d'Alene Tribal Chairman Chief Allan to announce acquisition of funding to end water and wastewater problems that have caused a building moratorium in the Plummer area. Idaho Senator Joyce Broadsword (R-Sagle) and Representatives Mary Lou Shepherd (D-Wallace) and Dick Harwood (R-St. Maries) joined Crapo, Clark, Allan and Jeff Beeman of USDA Rural Development to comment on the plan to end wastewater treatment issues in the Benewah County city. The $7.2 million is a combination of federal loan and grant funding through the USDA Rural Development program.

"Economic development begins with a solid infrastructure, and Plummer, like many rural cities, has struggled with issues surrounding the decline of its wastewater treatment system," Crapo, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, said. "In a part of Idaho that has seen improvements with rural medicine and broadband service, the wastewater capacity issues stood out in need of attention. Today, these issues are being resolved thanks to local problem-solving and assistance with funding through USDA Rural Development, tribal funds and money in the Farm Bill. Now, we can bring new housing on-line and ensure the future development and expansion for facilities like Berg Integrated Systems, which supplies our military needs, and for future development of industry and housing in the area."

"The reconstruction of Plummer's sanitary sewer system is a vital step towards the long term health, safety and economic revitalization of Plummer." said Mike Field, State Director for USDA Rural Development. "The leadership demonstrated by City and Tribal leaders, as well as the dedication of our USDA Rural Development staff to find workable solutions has helped move this project forward, which should bring greater economic stability to the City of Plummer."

The USDA Rural Development funding breaks down as follows: $5 million in loans, $1.295 million in rural development grants and $1 million from the Native American Set-Aside Fund. A State of Idaho Community Development Block Grant will also add an additional $500,000 for the project.

The lack of wastewater capacity had limited operations for both the City of Plummer and the Coeur d'Alene Tribe. On August 10, 2006, the city declared a moratorium on sewer connections for the city system due to the lack of sufficient capacity in the water treatment system. The two-tiered project consists of upgrading sewer pipe, service connections and manholes followed by the construction of a new wastewater treatment plant.