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PFA awards Pine River $2.1 million for utility projects

Echo Journal file photo / Travis Grimler.

The Minnesota Public Facilities Authority announced $8.39 million in loan and grant funding for water infrastructure projects in Pine River, Albert Lea, East Itasca and Tonka Bay.

Pine River received $2,115,635 for a project to replace two well houses and rehabilitation of two water towers. Funding comes from three sources. A Drinking Water Revolving Fund Loan will cover $304,127 of the cost. The 20-year 1% interest loan will save an estimated $47,554 when compared to the cost of market rate financing. The Public Facilities Authority will also provide a Water Infrastructure Fund grant of $1,216,508. The final $595,000 will come from a Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, or DEED, Small Cites Development Program grant.

"This funding will support projects that give the residents of Albert Lea, Pine River, East Itasca and Tonka Bay the ability to improve their water resources," said Gov. Tim Walz in a news release.

"The PFA is a valuable resource for Minnesota communities looking to update or improve their water infrastructure," said Steve Grove, Public Facilities Authority chair and DEED commissioner, in a news release. "These investments will help pave the way for future economic success."

Albert Lea received $3,449,717 to extend sewer and water service to the recent annexed Stables Area in the northwest part of the city.

East Itasca received $850,000 for the design and engineering of a regional wastewater treatment system to serve the cities of Nashwauk, Keewatin, Lone Pine Township, Greenway Township and other communities.

Tonka Bay received $1,980,568 for the rehabilitation of the existing drinking water treatment plant.

The Minnesota Public Facilities Authority provides financing and technical assistance to help communities build and maintain public infrastructure that protects public health and the environment and promotes economic growth. Since its inception in 1987 the PFA has financed $4.5 billion in public infrastructure projects in communities throughout Minnesota.