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Grant And Loan To Build A Well To Protect ER Water


A special meeting of the Eagle River city council and light & water commission last Tuesday approved on a 4-2 vote accepting a USDA loan and grant totalling $2,492,000 to implement Well #4 as a safety measure in case of a catastrophic contamination of existing wells.

Eagle River Mayor Jeff Hyslop said they had been talking about a “safety” well since 2009. “We concluded we would need a pretty substantial grant to get this done and USDA came through with a substantial grant,” the Mayor said. “This will not only give us peace of mind about a water source but will also open more economic development possibilities for the city.”

The Mayor indicated they may not need the new well today but tomorrow there could be a catastrophic accident near existing wells that would put them out of service The grant and loan offer from USDA Rural Development is a water loan for $1,466,000 and a grant of $1,026,000 with the loan for 40 years at 3.125% interest.

City Administrator Joe Laux said if the city accepts this the next step is an actual 72 hour pumping test to determine pumping rate, chemical, and taste tests costing about $50,000 and “if everything comes back positive we can procede with a full blown project design and be ready for bids; if not we can drop the project.”

The new well is to be located within Commerce Circle on the southeast side of the city and if final approval is given, water rates could increase up to $6.00 a month. Voting for accepting the USDA proposal were city council members Scott Flores, Kim Schaffer, Ron Kressin and light & water commissioner Walt Gander - - - voting against were council member Jerry Burkett and light & water commisisoner Dave Eibner.

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