At a called water committee meeting June 14, Gray Mayor Gus Wilson, Mayor Pro Tem Loretta Lipsey and city councilmen listened to engineer Matt Smith explain the funding challenges they are facing in their attempt to build a 1.2 million gallon capacity wastewater treatment plant.
To say the planning for the plant has been going on for a decade is not an exaggeration. The Environmental Protection Division has issued warnings to the City of Gray that a larger treatment facility is needed, but funding is an issue. The current plant has a capacity of treating 400,000 gallons of sewerage a day, and it reaches that capacity and more when it rains.
The USDA is the best funding source for the plant, but the agency will not consider funding a plant with a capacity over 800,000 gallons.
Smith did have some good news for the council, however. The USDA would allow the city to use 2000 Census numbers in their application, which allows the city to remain eligible for up to $2 million in grant funds.
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