Community

Economic recovery funding is available for Class A water systems

Economic recovery funding money is available to Class A water systems (15 or more homes), and smaller systems combining to become Class A, through the Department of Health Drinking Water State Revolving Funds program.

Priority will be given to improvements that address new sources, or treatment that addresses bacteriological, protozoan or chemical contaminants that affect public health. Applications need to be made this summer.

Generally, funding will be in the form of 1 percent APR loans; however, water systems serving low-income households may be eligible for principal forgiveness (grants).

Economic recovery money for water and sewer systems managed by special districts or other public agencies will be available through the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Development Program. Grant funding is limited to areas that are below the U.S. median household income, which was $41,994 in 1999, the basis of the last census (2000). Grant/funding splits are determined by rates required for loan payments compared to national average rates for water or sewer service.

Residents of Lopez and District 3 (zip code 98261) currently meet the median household income criterion. Low-interest loans are also available.

The Department of Ecology has been reviewing and processing water-right applications in San Juan County since 2006. According to DOE reviewers, Lopez (District 3) was finished in 2007; Orcas (District 2) is ongoing, planned to be finished some time next year. San Juan (District 1) will begin in 2010 and is anticipated to be finished in 2011 or 2012.

For more information, guidelines and links, visit the Water System Funding page at www.boundary-water.com or go directly to the named agencies to explore requirements and details.

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