AP NEWS

Ludington to receive $6 million for water plant improvements

May 15, 2019

Ludington will receive more than $6 million in loan funding from USDA Rural Development to help with improvements to the city’s wastewater treatment plant.

In a release from the USDA, officials stated that Ludington will receive $6,014,000 for upgrades to the system, which serves 5,087 residential and 1,051 commercial users, treating sewage from Ludington and Scottville, as well as portions of Pere Marquette, Hamlin and Amber townships. Ludington will revise the aerated lagoon, reconfigure another lagoon, and make plant improvements with the funds, the release stated.

The $6,014,000 is part of more than $23 million in bond funds to that will go toward making improvements to the plant, according to Ludington City Manager Mitch Foster.

The City of Ludington passed a bond resolution on Feb. 26 to seek the loan, which will be re-payed over a 30-plus-year term, according to Foster.

“It’s a long period of time that will let us keep rates affordable while also improve our infrastructure,” Foster said.

During the next three to six months, the city will perform a utility rate study to see how the rates should be adjusted based on the amount of debt for the bond repayments and the city’s operating expenses for utilities.

Foster said the wastewater treatment plant upgrade project is going well, but that it is still projected to take 18 months to two years to complete.

“It’s going to be a long project,” he said.

The area is one of four in Michigan to receive grants as parts of an $82 million investment through the Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant Program, according to the USDA — funds that will be used for drinking water, stormwater drainage and waste disposal systems in communities with 10,000 or fewer residents.

The other recipients of grant funds are the Village of Akron in Tuscola County, and the cities of Croswell and Vicksburg, in Sanilac and Kalamazoo counties, respectively.

Jason Allen, state director of USDA Rural Development, said the investment is designed to help rural communities prosper, and to improve water quality.

“Projects like these in Ludington will help the long-term Lake Michigan quality and help the community prosper and grow for the next generation,” Allen said.