MONSON, Maine — This small community is making strides in updating its aging water system, which serves about 140 customers.
Town officials recently received notice that the Monson Utilities District will receive a $400,000 USDA Rural Development grant to help fund the replacement of the system’s more than 70-year-old distribution lines.
The town also has applied for a $500,000 Community Development Block Grant to help fund the approximately $1 million project.
“It’s good news because definitely the district cannot afford to do it without the help of these grants,” Monson Town Manager Julie Anderson said Wednesday. “It’s very exciting to us that our project, hopefully, is moving forward and that we can get everything done that we need to.”
If the district is not successful with the CDBG funding, as much work as possible will be done this summer using the USDA funds, Anderson said.
The problems with the system are many, according to Anderson. She said that because of their age, the lines are breaking and the shut-off valves are not functional. In addition, the system has water pressure problems in certain areas of the town.
Last year, the district received a $422,000 grant and $148,000 low-interest loan from USDA Rural Development for a new pump station.
After the pipes are replaced, the third and last phase of the project will be the construction of a new reservoir, Anderson said. She said the district planned to apply for funds under the State and Tribal Grant, or STAG, program on Friday to help cover that cost. Maine Rural Water is assisting the town in the grant application, she said.