Valley Grande still waiting on grant response

Published 6:50pm Tuesday, June 4, 2013

VALLEY GRANDE — Several months after the city of Valley Grande announced it would pursue a state grant to replace outdated sewer lines, Valley Grande Mayor Wayne Labbe said the council is still waiting to see if the state awards their proposal.

The first phase of the project, Labbe explained, was completed when the city replaced its underground pumping stations. The next phase — the phase the city is currently in — is waiting to receive grant money to replace gravity feed lines, which dates back to the 1960s.

“We’re over the hump for completing the project, but we’re still waiting on hearing from our grant, which may take a while,” Labbe said.

The city, in conjunction with Hogg Engineering, is seeking a $450,000 grant from the state. If given the grant, Valley Grande would have to meet it with a 10 percent match — $45,000. This is the highest amount of grant money the city could possibly receive for the project, Labbe said.

“Depending on whether we get it or not, we might have to go further and apply for other grants,” he said. “These grants are kind of funny in that one year you get one and the next year you don’t. They kind of alternate between cities.”

The city’s current piping is made out of terra cotta — a dated material. If Valley Grande were to receive the grant, the pipes would be replaced with a newer material that would last longer. Currently, the poor piping system directly affects some 95 residents.

“We’ll be surprised if we get the $450,000, but it doesn’t hurt to go out and apply for it so the state knows we’re serious about it,” Labbe said. “The way the process works is you have to go through the state grant process first and then we’ll pursue another one if we don’t get it.”

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