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Mabton, Granger among recipients of state-awarded grants totaling $82 million

The cities of Granger, Mabton and Snohomish were top picks to receive loans and grants for wastewater treatment plant projects.

The Washington Department of Ecology has finalized funding offers for 57 clean water projects worth $82 million in loans and grants, from funds approved in the 2012 state budget.

Granger and Mabton were among five wastewater treatment projects that qualified for hardship status. They will receive grants- forgivable principal loans that do not have to be paid back- and low interest loans.

The funding not only helps protect an irreplaceable asset - clean water - but it also provides jobs. State financial managers calculate that 11 jobs in Washington are created for every million dollars spent in construction and design funding, supporting 902 jobs statewide for this round of projects. Over half of these are likely to be local construction jobs.

Mabton received a $2.2 million Centennial Grant along with a $2.1 million standard loan. The project in Mabton includes the design and construction of an upgraded wastewater treatment facility in order to meet new state permit requirements. The project will also improve the system's reliability and increase the facility's capacity.

Granger has received a $1.2 million Centennial Grant and a $1.5 million loan for improvements at its wastewater treatment plant. It is currently at 92 percent capacity and needs improvement and expansions.

"We make it a priority to provide technical assistance and outreach to communities throughout the state so they can tap in to our annual funding program for low-interest loans and grants to protect clean water," said Kelly Susewind, who manages Ecology's Water Quality Program.

Projects qualifying for Ecology's clean water funding include upgrades and expansion of sewer plants and collection systems; sewage system improvements; water re-use facilities; water clean-up projects; stormwater and groundwater projects; stream-side protection and restoration projects; public clean water education projects and more.

The next application cycle for the Department of Ecology's water quality grants and loans begins Sept. 1, and ends Nov. 2. Ecology will hold funding application workshops around the state in mid-September.

Washington's previous state budget provided up to $111 million in clean water loans and grants for fiscal year 2012 and this latest round of funding became available July 1.

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