Dozens of Iowa communities are expected to benefit from federal stimulus money designated for improving public drinking water systems and wastewater treatment plants.
Patti Cale-Finnegan, with the Department of Natural Resources, says Iowa was awarded $77-million. At least half of that money will be allocated in the form of forgivable loans.
"The advantage of the stimulus money is that it will help make these water and wastewater projects more affordable for communities," Cale-Finnegan said.
"Sometimes we’re looking at sewer and water bills upwards of 50 dollars a month. So, this money will help bring those down and keep rates more affordable in communities around the state."
Environmental Protection Commissioners are set to approve the spending plan for the money on May 19th. Around 60 communities should receive funding for water and wastewater infrastructure improvements.
"We have another 50 communities that have green projects, which means more efficient operations, storm water infrastructure and more environmentally innovative type projects," Cale-Finnegan said.
The funds are designed to create jobs, but will also help communities with some overdue upgrades to sewer and water systems. "Some of the systems that we’ll be assisting are 20 or 30 years old…sometimes we’re looking at water mains or sewer pipes that are older than that," Cale-Finnegan said.