$3.3 million investment in U.P. water infrastructure improvements by Trump Administration


President Donald Trump holds a campaign rally at MBS International Airport near Freeland, Michigan, on Sept. 10, 2020.

WASHINGTON D.C. (WJMN) — The Trump Administration announced Tuesday that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $236 million to modernize rural drinking water and wastewater infrastructure across 28 states.

Two Upper Peninsula communities will receive $3.3 million of the $36 million in loans and grants dedicated to the state of Michigan

“The geographic extent of this investment is staggering, covering every part of Michigan: north, south, west, the Thumb and the Upper Peninsula,” said USDA State Director for Michigan Jason Allen.

The City of Manistique, in Schoolcraft County, will use an $800,000 loan and $300,000 grant to fund a sewer main.

The sewer interceptor failed under Highway US-2 on the west side of Manistique. There was a catastrophic collapse of the paved surface centered in the eastbound traffic lane. The collapse was approximately 450 feet west of the Manistique River.

An emergency sewer repair was necessary to prevent raw sewage from discharging into the Manistique River and to prevent backup into homes and businesses.

The City of Munising, in Alger County, will use a $648,000 loan and $1,852,000 grant to replace part of the sewer main.

The existing main in this section of M-28 was installed in the 1930s, and is susceptible to infiltration and inflow of ground water into both the system and subsequent sewage treatment.

The removal and replacement of the aged collection lines will greatly improve the quality and reliability of wastewater collection. The project will be leveraged with a $5 million Michigan Department of Transportation grant to replace paving and provide ground restoration to the work.

A small extension of the sewer is planned with this project which will add six additional users to the system. 

“Upgrading the infrastructure that delivers safe drinking water and modern wastewater management facilities will improve public health and drive economic development in our small towns and cities,” Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Bette Brand said.

“Under the leadership of President Trump and Agriculture Secretary Perdue, USDA is a strong partner with rural communities, because we know that when rural America thrives, all of America thrives.”

USDA is funding 76 projects through the Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant Program. These investments will help to improve rural water infrastructure for 267,000 residents.

Seven downstate communities are receiving $32.7 million as apart of the Trump Administration’s investment.

The City of Fennville, in Allegan County, will use a $111,000 loan to complete improvements to the city’s water system. This includes water main replacement, abandoning a well, and replacing water meters. The water system serves 1,423 people.

The Lake Mitchell Sewer Authority, in Wexford County, will use a $9,388,000 loan to improve the sewer collection system.  The project will clean and televise the sewer mains, add new grinder pumps, repair or replace pump stations, and replace metered manholes with new flowmeters. The flowmeters will increase the accuracy of how much discharge is being sent to the City of Cadillac, which will increase the accuracy of how much the authority pays to the city for treatment charges. 

The Village of Lexington, in Sanilac County, will use a $3,659,000 loan and $1,335,000 grant to fund water system improvements. The project will add two filters at the water treatment plant, additional storage, upgrade existing filters, demolish the existing microfiltration system, construct a 500,000-gallon ground storage tank, improve the raw water intake to eliminate freezing issues, replace existing water meters, construct a booster pump station, and upgrade sections of old, undersized water mains.

The Village of Constantine, in St. Joseph County, will use a $13,395,000 loan to recommission an existing water treatment facility. The village commission shut down this facility in 1997, sending sewage to the City of Three Rivers for treatment. The project will rehabilitate and/or construct components of the treatment system. 

The Village of Pinckney, in Livingston County, will use a $500,000 loan to complete ongoing sewer system upgrades. This project will install tight sheet piling around the main lift station to eliminate issues with dewatering in the construction area.

The Village of Sheridan, in Montcalm County, will use a $1,295,000 loan to upgrade the wastewater treatment facility which was constructed in 1980. The system has had very little capital improvements since construction and was built to accommodate population growth that did not occur. There is significant deterioration in the bypass piping, along with deterioration of valves and other structures. The project will replace piping, manhole replacement and rehabilitation, valve and slide gate replacement, repair the lagoon clay liner, regrade the lagoon berm, and make electrical improvements to the aeration system.

The Village of Vermontville, in Eaton County, will use a $3,105,000 loan and $301,000 grant for water system improvements. The current system dates back to the 1940s and is comprised of cast iron water main, well fields and uses a water tower built in 1947. The village has experienced many water main breaks in the past years due to the brittle nature of the cast iron. The project will replace and upgrade almost 2 miles of cast iron water main and construct a 150,000-gallon water tower. The project will also include the demolition of the old water tower once the new one is operational.

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