DENR provides funding for Chancellor wastewater projects

Dawn Rye | Writer

The South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) announced the Board of Water and Natural Resources had approved  $69,445,450 for water, wastewater and solid waste projects.

The DENR will be providing the City of Chancellor $5,777,000 for drinking water and wastewater projects, which includes $3,019,000 in grants and $2,758,000 in loans with $2,050,000 in principal forgiveness. 

According to Finance Officer Heath McManaman, funding will replace old and dilapidated sewer and water infrastructure, upgrade the drainage and replace the street surfacing. The funding will be utilized for the first two or three-phased projects. The remaining phases will be constructed in subsequent years.

He said the city anticipates the project will begin this summer, continue into the late fall and then resume next year and finish all remaining work. The following steps will include completing the project’s design and then letting it for bid in the coming months. McManaman said assuming the town receives an acceptable proposal, the city will award the project to the lowest responsible, responsive contractor and construction will commence soon after that.

McManaman explained according to the city records, the sanitary sewer infrastructure that will be replaced as part of this project was initially installed in the early 1900s. He noted some repairs and replacement projects have occured since that time, but most of the lines are still original.

He stated for the city to cover the cost of the loan, DENR requires the town to increase sewer and water rates for the portion of the project associated with each of the utilities. It is anticipated that the board will raise rates to cover those loans in the coming months. The grant funding and forgivable loan dollars are only available if the loan funding is used, so it cannot use the grant funding but not the loan funds.

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