FORT KENT, Maine — The town will get more than $3.1 million in federal assistance in its effort to recover from a major flood more than a year ago thanks to federal stimulus money.
U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced earlier this week that nearly $143 million in water and environmental projects was being funded through the stimulus bill. The projects are designed to help provide safe drinking water and improve wastewater treatment systems for rural towns and communities in 21 states.
Fort Kent will use its $3.1 million for upgrades to its water and waste systems, including construction of a new pump station.
Town Manager Don Guimond said Thursday the current station is in the flood zone. The new station will be located on higher ground.
Guimond said the money also would fund replacement of 3,000 feet of cracked water main damaged by the flooding.
“There were things that we need to repair or make less prone to flooding after the flood we had here,” he said. “The major project involves the pump station and we hope to have it done this year.”
The flood of late April and early May 2008 caused millions of dollars in damage.
Guimond said engineering for the projects is under way and he hopes the bulk of the work will be done this summer and fall.
In Maine, three towns were selected to receive a total of $6.5 million in stimulus money. Boothbay Region Water District will receive $2.6 million to replace existing water mains that are deteriorating from age. The town of Randolph will receive $750,000 to replace its pump station.
The Agriculture Department‘s Rural Development agency provides loans and grants to ensure that investments are made in water and wastewater infrastructure to ensure safe drinking water and protect the environment in rural areas.