The township of Barry seeks grants for a water tower project
Barry Township Supervisor Barry Bower said he would “crow like a rooster” if the township is able to get $ 1.4 million in grants to pay for a new water tower in Delton.
It is wishful thinking right now.
At a special meeting on Monday, members of the township board discussed the possibility of filing three federal grant applications that the Barry Community Foundation presented to the board. County and state grants may also be available.
Barry Township does not have a water tower, but if it does, it would help encourage community growth, Bower said in an interview after the meeting.
“We only have three wells, and that’s it,” Bower said.
If a fire breaks out in the township, the local fire department must pump water from a lake.
“You can’t use any of the hydrants…” he said. “All of our hydrants are more or less fair in appearance.”
The Township of Prairieville has its own fire department which only serves the Delton area when called in during a call for assistance. But getting water for firefighting isn’t a problem, Prairieville Township Supervisor Jim Stoneburner said.
“We’ve had lake water for years – Crooked Lake, our own well. Water is not a problem, ”Stoneburner said. “The problem is getting him over there in a truck. There is a lot of water around. We can fill trucks.
Regarding the search for a water tower for Delton, Stoneburner said the Township of Prairieville would not be involved in this project.
“Prairieville is served by the sewer, but we are not going to be served by the water tower,” he said.
The estimated cost of a new water tower in Delton would be between $ 1.4 million and $ 1.6 million. And unlike a larger community where the cost of
municipal water service can be paid for and divided by a large number of residents, there are not enough residents in the Delton area to cover this cost.
“We only have about 102 people in our water district,” Bower said.
Without any other source of funding, each landowner in the district would have to pay around $ 13,725 to cover the cost of a $ 1.4 million water tower, which Bower called “astronomical.”
“So if we can’t get a loan, we’ll have to get a grant,” he said. “We can no longer send people to the water district until we have a water tower. ”
Municipal water pipes would not need to be extended in the township, he noted, as this infrastructure is already in place.
The Township of Barry is expected to receive half of the $ 367,000 allocated to it in economic stimulus funding later this year under the American Rescue Plan Act. “But it’s far from $ 1.4 million [needed to construct the tower]”said Bower.
Half of the ARPA funds will be distributed by the US Department of the Treasury to municipalities this year and the other half next year. Federal guidelines state that ARPA funds can only be used to meet existing needs for water, sewage, broadband, and similar infrastructure.
“The [township] water system has probably been around for 15 years. So we’re just going to apply for grants and hope for the best, ”Bower said.
Jennifer Heinzman, president of the Barry County Chamber of Commerce and the Economic Development Alliance, said Barry Township is still expected to request about $ 1.2 million in county ARPA funds, even after deducting ARPA funds from the township of the cost of the project. “And whatever is awarded will then be deducted from any other grants the township asks for.”
Heinzman said the chamber provided the township with information from the Federal Economic Development Administration.
“Federal money is [available] through six different programs. One of them is called the Economic Adaptation Assistance Program. So we gave [the township] an application to apply for that one. And then the EDA also has a public works program. Thus, the canton can apply for both, using
federal ARPA money. And then, if they still need additional funds, they can apply for the USDA Waste Disposal Loan and Grant program.
Heinzman said she was optimistic Barry Township will receive the necessary grants to build the tower.
“I’m hoping that between all of these programs we’ll be able to cover the full cost of the water tower – especially right now with all this federal money coming in just for infrastructure.
“These are the exact types of projects that we think the government wants to fund. So we’re in a good position to get the funding.
The deadline to apply for county ARPA funding is September 17, and the deadline to apply for federal EDA money is mid-October.
“They don’t say when they’re going to get an answer from us,” Heinzman said, “but the EDA has said they hope to have the answers by the end of this year.”