Water district to get $970,000 loan

The Manchester Water District is set to receive $970,870 after applying and being granted a Washington State Public Works Trust Fund Construction Loan to improve the district’s water system.

Alan Fletcher, general manager of the Manchester Water District, said he is very pleased about what he will be able to accomplish through the funding.

“It’s great,” Fletcher said. “We’ve got a whole slate of projects. The bulk will be for pipeline replacements; there are a couple of hydraulic improvements that need to be made...some are in the Yukon Harbor area, where we’ve had a lot of failure in the pipeline.”

Fletcher said he is glad to finally have the funding to fix ongoing problems in the pipeline that plague Manchester residents.

“A lot of the homeowners out there have been patient during the numerous repairs we’ve had to make,” Fletcher said.

However, Fletcher said he is particularly excited about the actual terms of the loan.

“What makes this really attractive are the terms for us,” Fletcher said.

Fletcher said the district will be matching the loan amount from its own pockets, driving the interest rate down to one-half of 1 percent. The loan has to be repaid within 20 years.

“It’s almost like perpetual money,” said State Rep. Patricia Lantz. “It’s a revolving loan. The interest payoff comes back in as well as the principle so you can keep loaning it.”

According to Lantz, the loan is designed to be lent for water and sewer improvements.

“There is constant pressure out there to be able to dip into that money for something other than this type of thing,” Lantz said.

The Public Works Board recommending to the Washington State Legislature that Manchester receive the loan. If it is granted, the money will be awarded during the next Legislative session.

“It’s a competitive loan process,” said Fletcher. “We had to put together a pretty extensive application. We were successful this year. There’s a great service from the state out there for cities and districts and local utilities.”

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