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Stanfield Gets Grant, Loan For Water Upgrades

The City of Stanfield has received a community development block grant for approximately $1.7 million as well as a $1.65 million loan to help with city’s continued water system improvements.

City Manager Scott Pingel said the committed funding will help the city construct a new well on the south side of the city, a new reservoir and a pipeline from the reservoir to the downtown area tying the new reservoir to the current water system. The money will also help with a backup power system, so the city’s water supply doesn’t stop when the power goes out.

The city received $300,000 in CDBG funding for the project design, which the city recently completed, Pingel said.

“We’re done with the design phase, now were going into the construction phase,” Pingel said.

The new reservoir will be located on approximately half an acre of land on the northwest corner of I-84 and Highway 395.

Pingel said the city could have “shovels in the ground” for the project in September or October.

“The thing that we were excited about was $650,000 of the $1.65 (million) is forgivable,” Pingel said. “As long as we get our rate to a certain level, we don’t have to pay it back.”

The Oregon Business Development Department measures a city’s eligibility for CDBG grants by measuring its water rate.

In order to receive CDGB funding, Stanfield’s water rate must be at $36.57 for the first 7,500 gallons of water per account in the city.

“Right now we’re at at a rate of $31.25 (monthly) for 7,500 gallons,” Pingel said.

In order to pay for the loan portion of the funding, the water rate may be raised to as high as $38 to $40 per month, which equals an increase of approximately $7 to $9 per month for customers.

The gradual changes in water rates for customers could start in July 2013, with a final increase by the time the project is completed.

Pingel assured residents it will be worth the increase.