Dupree water main project receives funding
by Tasiyagnunpa Livermont
According to the Dupree city mayor, just $56,000 remains for the City of Dupree to finance as the city moves ahead on a water main replacement project.
“I’m still looking for money,” said Ray Lenk, City of Dupree mayor.
So far the hunt for funding has covered most of the project with a grant covering over half the cost of the estimated $390,000 construction project.
“We received a $234,000 CDBG grant,” said Lenk.
In collaboration with the Central South Dakota Enhancement District, the City of Dupree received a Community Development Block Grant. The CSDE District is a quasi-government agency that provides technical assistance for seven counties and thirteen municipalities in central South Dakota, including several municipalities in the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation.
According to Lenk, the city was also awarded $100,000 in loan forgiveness. In September, the city was awarded the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (SRF) loan for $163,000 with the terms of the forgiveness not to exceed $100,000. The loan’s interest rate is 2.25 percent and is payable up to 30 years.
According to the city’s DENR Categorical Exclusion Determination, C462247-01, “Repayment of the SRF loan will be with a water surcharge assessment of about $.135 per customer per month. The surcharge will be in addition to a water rate of $63.50 per month based on 5,000 gallons usage.”
While the $63,000 left on the SRF loan would fund the remainder of the project not funded by current grants or loan forgiveness, the project’s construction estimate leaves about $56,000 to be funded. Though the loan is in place, Lenk said he hopes that the city can find additional funding that would help pay back that loan quicker.
With the small sales tax base facing many municipalities on the Cheyenne River Sioux reservation, any loan burden on a municipality is a cause for concern, however it isn’t enough to stop the City of Dupree from moving ahead in replacing the water mains.
“I think we’re far enough along to start asking for bidding,” said Lenk.
Financial caution is important, especially with other water projects pending on Dupree’s horizon.
Lenk said the City of Dupree is also looking at improving their waste water system.
“We have pretty much all the engineering done, but at this point we haven’t applied for the money,” said Lenk.
This is typical of the process most cities use as they move forward with various municipal projects. Most grant applications require estimates and engineering done in order to apply.
Lenk also said that the City of Dupree has looked at a possible water tower project.