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Near million award to fund district system repairs, upgrade

Rapid River Water and Sewer District project to begin in September

— Nearly a million dollars in USDA loan and grant funds were recently awarded to the Rapid River Water and Sewer District to make needed repairs to its system. With the funding in place, construction is pending with work to hopefully start this fall.

“We’re all pretty excited!” said Pam Bogan, district secretary-treasurer, following last month’s award announcement. “We’ve been working toward this for five to six years.”

Overall, $267 million will be invested from USDA Rural Development in 103 projects nationwide through its Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant Program. The Rapid River district project was one of six in Idaho to receive funding.

The district is to receive a $596,000 grant and a $365,000 loan. Rapid River services 50 users in its community four miles south of Riggins.

Necessity for the project is inadequate fire suppression for system users, and, at times inadequate water supply. According to the district’s information, one of its two wells experiences seasonal low-water levels, and its current water storage reservoir is aging and does not meet Idaho Department of Environmental Quality standards.

The district’s proposed project, estimated around $1 million, will go toward constructing a new well, new 80,000-gallon reservoir, and install at least seven new fire hydrants and a 10-inch water transmission main from the new reservoir to the distribution system.

In November 2015, district patrons passed a $500,000 revenue bond to help fund improvements.

“They’re doing some of the pre-survey work now,” said Tim Heath, district president, for reservoir tank placement on the hill, and the process is under way for getting bids ready to go out on the well drilling portion. The district also has work to do in securing a few land easements, which they expect to complete shortly.

Work will go in several steps, he explained: drilling the well and putting in the new tank, which will be in two separate bids, and then the piping and remaining work that will be in yet another bid.

“This will be so we can keep water going to the subdivision,” he said, “and so, for a while, we’ll have two separate systems.”

“We hope to start in September,” Heath said, which he clarified is pending on working through multiple governmental agencies on their portions of the project.


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