The USDA yank’s the dough for Pagosa Springs Sanitation and General Improvement District’s new wastewater facility

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From the Pagosa Daily Post (Jim McQuiggin):

Last Wednesday, the Pagosa Springs Sanitation and General Improvement District (PSSGID) received word from the USDA that an application for those funds had been considered, “voluntarily withdrawn” and that the money would be, “de-obligated.” Over a year ago, the Town of Pagosa Springs received notice from the USDA that it would receive funds for the construction of a wastewater treatment facility. The money included $3,145,000 in loans (at 2-percent interest) and $787,000 in grants. Along with other funds secured three years ago (a $2 million loan from the Colorado Water Resources and Power Development Authority and a $1.25 million grant from the Department of Local Affairs), the Town of Pagosa Springs had just over $7 million to construct the plant…

Bids for construction of the wastewater treatment plant, submitted in mid-April 2009, ranged from $5.9 million to $8.8 million. Unfortunately for PSSGID, even low bids for the project came in around $1.15 million over budget.

USDA funds, although obligating the town to nearly four decades of debt and town sewer customers to fees almost 130 percent above Colorado average rates, would have allowed the PSSGID to construct a plant meeting CDPHE standards for wastewater treatment.

With that funding pulled, it is unclear how the town will treat its sewage, despite a plan proposed late last year by Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District representatives to pump the town’s sewage to a newly-constructed $9.3 million facility operated by PAWSD.

More wastewater coverage here and here.

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