Detroit Lakes Awaits Signing Of State Bonding Bill

Detroit Lakes Awaits Signing Of State Bonding Bill Click to Enlarge

DETROIT LAKES, MN--As a bonding bill awaits Governor Mark Dayton's signature, the head of Detroit Lakes Public Utilities remains optimistic it will get signed and the city will receive some funding for the state mandated upgrade to it's wastewater treatment plant.

Detroit Lakes Public Utilities General Manager Vernell Roberts explains funding for the proposed $34 million dollar project was included in last year's bonding bill that didn't get passed. And it is again in year's bill on the Governor's desk.

"Last year we were included in the financing portion of the Public Facilities Authority, so we were going to get funded, it was just a matter of how much was going to be grant money and how much a low interest loan money. The language that we got for this year's bonding bill essentially raises the cap on the point source of limitation grant to the full 80 percent." Roberts said. "Now, prior to this year when bonding bill was released and was approved by both the House and the Senate there was a five million dollar cap on that point-source implementation, that's been raised to seven. We've now got that cap removed so it's 80 percent of the phosphorus removal cost of our facility which we've identified to be almost $15 million. So we're in line, depending on how bids and final costs come in, we could get up to $12 million of those costs covered by grant money," He added. "And then there's also another $5 million of Wastewater Infrastructure Financing (WIF) we could receive. So we have the potential to receive up to $17 million dollars in grant money depending on how the bids come in."

Roberts says he remains cautiously optimistic the Governor will sign the bonding bill. Following last year's session, the Governor paid a visit to Detroit Lakes specifically to listen to learn more about the wastewater treatment facility project.

"[Governor Mark Dayton] has a pretty big passion for clean water. He's been trying to make that his legacy because it's his last term as governor. I think he'll fully support everything that's in the bonding bill. Especially, for the water and wastewater side of it. He's been very supportive of our project, that'll help our cause as well."

Top Republican lawmakers say the just-under one billion dollar bonding bill was passed by a very strong vote in the House.

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