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State rejects Mabton's funding request for new well

MABTON - Losing its bid to receive a state community development block grant has not deterred the Mabton City Council from seeking other funding sources for a much needed new city well.

The city leaders, who had sought a state community block grant to help with the estimated $1.2 million cost of punching a new well recently learned their application was rejected.

"We're not sure why our application was rejected by the state, but we are in need of an additional water source," said Mabton Mayor David Conradt. He said the city's aging water system had given the city a number of headaches the past several years. The city hopes to drill a new well to meet current water needs, as well as future needs in the tiny community.

"We are now seeking other funding sources," he said.

Last week, the Mabton City Council approved spending $3,600 to fund an engineer's study of the city's aquifers, which is required by the Yakima County Water Conservation Board. The professional study and the approval of the county conservation board are both needed before the city can apply for U.S. Department of Agriculture funding, Conradt explained.

He said the study is the first step in seeking a USDA rural development grant/loan package.

The USDA funding will require the city to pay 25 percent of the costs putting in the new well, according to Ildia Jackson, Mabton city administrator.

The USDA provides funding in 75 percent grant/25 percent loan packages, she explained.

Jackson said the city may seek extra funding from the state's public works grants.

The rejection of the city's block grant application is expected to delay the city water project, by at least six months.

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