• By Lisa Brody

Township to apply for drinking water grants

Bloomfield Township Trustees unanimously agreed to apply to the Mi Clean Water Plan drinking water infrastructure grant program, which provides low interest funds to assistant municipalities in the construction or improvement of public water systems, at their meeting on Monday, November 23.


Olivia Olsztyn-Budry, director of engineering and environmental services, explained The MI Clean Water Plan has been developed to address infrastructure issues for drinking water and wastewater systems. Overall, the MI Clean Water Plan aligns $500 million in federal dollars, state bonding authority and existing/prospective state revenues into a comprehensive water infrastructure program providing $207 million for drinking water investments and $293 million for wastewater management investments.


Now, the state has decided to offer low interest funds, she said, in five programs: disadvantaged community lead service line replacement program; drinking water asset management grants; drinking water infrastructure grants; consolidation and contamination risk reduction grants; and affordability and planning grants.


“The township has not applied for low interest loans before,” she said. What makes this program of interest, she said, is that it allows for 30 percent principal forgiveness, up to $2 million.


An intent to apply is due by January 31, 2021, and does not obligate the township, she said. “If they determine the township's program is applicable, then we would develop a program report. Then there is an agreement.”


A project needed to be identified for a water asset project, and while Olsztyn-Budry identified a few, she recommended a large project in the Birmingham Farms subdivision.


“It is rated higher (in need) and in our asset management plan,” she said.


“It's not going to cost much to put the application in, and it will allow us to do a subdivision in need of repair,” noted trustee Neal Barnett.

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