EAST LANSING, Mich. (WJMN) – The United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development (USDA) announced Tuesday that $9.7 million will be invested in four UP communities to improve water infrastructure.

The investments will consist of $7,887,000 in loans and $1,856,000 in grants toward projects in Gogebic, Houghton, and Baraga counties.

Calumet: The North Houghton County Water and Sewage Authority in Houghton County will receive a $4,620,000 loan to make improvements to the wastewater collection and treatment system. The project will repair and replace lines in the highest priority areas, as well as provide an additional equalization basin that will help maintain consistent flows through the existing treatment facility.

L’Anse: The Village of L’Anse in Baraga County will receive a $125,000 loan and $375,000 grant to complete improvements to their wastewater collection and treatment system. The project includes replacement of existing collection pipes and upgrades to mechanical components of the facility. The overall goals of the project are to improve operational efficiency and decrease the environmental impacts of pipes that have outlived their useful life span.

Portage Charter Township: Portage Charter Township in Houghton County will receive a $217,000 loan and $1,481,000 grant to extend the municipal sewer collection system to an additional 62 homes and businesses that have failing septic systems. 

Wakefield: The City of Wakefield in Gogebic County will receive a $2,925,000 loan for improvements to their water system. The project will replace 13,900 feet of watermain, as well as hydrants and valves. 

“This is great news for the western Upper Peninsula,” said USDA Rural Development State Director for Michigan Brandon Fewins.  “USDA Rural Development is continuing to work with these communities to ensure clean drinking water and to protect the environment.”

You can learn more about current USDA projects here.