McBain hopes to receive $5 million for water project

McBain has applied to the United States Department of Agriculture for millions of dollars to go toward its water project, which includes replacing the water tower.

MCBAIN — McBain has submitted an application to the United States Department of Agriculture and hopes to receive $5 million for its water project.

McBain Mayor Joey Roberts said that all of the required paperwork was signed and Fleis and VandenBrink Engineering, Inc., delivered the application for the funds on Monday.

For its water project, the city wants to replace its water tower, replace 14,000 feet of cast iron piping in the water system, install an iron removal plant and install water meters at all services for the city.

These actions were recommended by Fleis and VandenBrink after the company conducted a water system review that examined the water’s infrastructure and chemistry to fix the city’s experience with orange colored water.

The scope of the projections say this will be a $7.3 million project, but the project is subject to change depending on how much the USDA grants, Roberts said.

He suspects it will be possible to receive $5 million.

“That’s what I’m hoping for,‘ he said.

The city will be looking to borrow around $2 or $3 million, anything the grant doesn’t cover, he said.

Once they get an answer from the USDA, Roberts’ game plan is to have public hearings and explain everything to the public.

This is a major project when you’re planning on replacing 50% of your underground service and he and the city council want to be as transparent as they can, he said.

Ever since Roberts was elected as mayor, fixing the water system has been one of his main goals and he’s been involved with this water project since then. This application alone has taken six to eight months to prepare.

Fleis and VandenBrink handled the majority of the application and the city had to give them information like how many residential and commercial connections they have in the city and who the three largest employers are, which included Biewer Sawmill, McBain Rural Agricultural School and Roger Bazuin and Sons, a transportation company.

Working on the application involved a financial advisor, the engineering company, a bond attorney, the city attorney and the city clerk and mayor.

“There’s a lot of moving parts there,‘ Roberts said.

They are hoping to hear back within a month from the department. They might not have the funding available right away, but the city is not planning on starting this project until spring 2020.

“We’re very, very happy and we’ll patiently wait to see what the USDA comes back with,‘ Roberts said.

Cadillac News