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Alex receives $3.8M in water funding

Alexandria was one of eight Minnesota cities to receive funding from the Minnesota Public Facilities Authority (PFA) for improvements to drinking water and wastewater plants.

A total of $10.8 million was awarded for projects in Alexandria, Zimmerman, Eden Valley, Wheaton, Mountain Iron, Shelly, Martin County-Truman and Seaforth.

Alexandria's package consists of a $3.8 million loan at 2.4 percent interest over 20 years. That money will help pay for rehabilitating the city's water treatment plant and adding three filters. The loan will save the city about $640,000 compared with market-rate financing.

According to Jerry Wright, city finance manager, the money will be used to construct three new filter cells and to renovate the four existing filter cells - a project that has actually already begun.

"It will give us the ability to process more water than we do," he explained. "We're really pleased to get this loan."

Wright noted that the state, through public facility authority, has an allocation of federal funds available each year to cities and governing units for various projects.

Alexandria applied for and received an approximate $1 million loan in 2002 for building the water tower in industrial park.

"This funding will improve the water supply in these eight communities and also create jobs," said Dan McElroy, PFA chair and commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED). "PFA funding for water projects enhances community vitality and contributes to better health."

Funding for the projects will come from the PFA's Drinking Water Revolving Fund, Clean Water Revolving Fund and Wastewater Infrastructure Fund.