Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Stupak: Funding for water improvements, 83 jobs in Baraga

WASHINGTON, DC -- U.S. Congressman Bart Stupak announced the village of Baraga will receive $5.4 million to make improvements to the water system. The funding, which will create or retain 83 direct and indirect jobs in the area, includes a loan for $2,754,000 through the stimulus, or American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), and a $2,670,000 grant. The loan and grant were provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development program.

"This funding will allow Baraga to strengthen and update its water system while helping to create and retain jobs in the community," Stupak said. "In addition to creating and retaining jobs, the stimulus dollars and this grant will help keep water rates at a reasonable level for consumers. As we work to turn our economy around, investments like this one are crucial to providing infrastructure projects that lay the groundwork for continued economic growth in the future."

The current water plant intake in the village of Baraga was constructed around 1970 and lies in only 13 feet of water 650 feet off the shoreline of Keweenaw Bay. The funding will be used to install a new water intake system with a buried pipeline that is further from shore and in deeper water. It will also be used to replace 13,000 feet of deteriorated and leaking supply main and to make repairs to the water plant including the replacement of pumps and controls.

Sixty-nine projects in 36 states received a total of $268.5 million, including $110.7 million in stimulus funding, in Thursday’s announcement by USDA. The projects will help to protect the environment and improve the health of rural families by providing critical water and wastewater infrastructure improvements.

More information about USDA’s ARRA efforts is available at www.usda.gov/recovery.

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