USDA slates $13.9 million for Tucumcari, Logan

Chelle Delaney and Thomas Garcia

Tucumcari and Logan are slated to receive $13.5 million in USDA funds from the federal stimulus package, according to an annoucement this week from the USDA.

Tucumcari will receive notice that they’re up for $8 million and the the Village of Logan will receive $5.9 for their respective wastewater projects, said Ernie Watson, public information coordinator, USDA Rural Development in Albuquerque.

The federal funds are provided through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. They are part of a $618.9 million USDA package to help provide safe drinking water and improved wastewater treatment systems for rural towns and communities in 34 states and administered through USDA Rural Development’s Water and Environmental Program.

In Tucumcari, the $8 million would complete the city’s update of its wastewater treatment plant, lift stations and pipeline from wells, said Doug Powers, director of the city’s Community Development Department.

The city is investigating whether or not the funds are designated as all loan, or partial grant and loan, said City Manager Bobbye Rose.
The city applied for a grant, and city officials are hoping that, at least, a portion is a grant rather than a loan.

“I’m pleased at how hard Community Development has worked to get projects shovel ready to be in line to get the funds,” Rose said.
If the funds for Tucumcari are all designated as a loan, it would have to go before the city commission which would review the agreement and determine how the funds would be paid back.

To receive the funds the city has to respond to a set of conditions, including how it plans to repay any loan portion of the funds, Watson said.
Depending on the municipality, loans have been repaid through bonds, utility fees or other revenue, Watson said.

In Logan, the $5.9 million loan will be used to start and complete the second phase of the sewer project at Ute Lake, said Larry Wallin, Village of Logan manager.

“The letter of conditions will be sent to Logan within a week once they complete those conditions they could receive their money with in a month,” Watson said.

“The loan will be paid back through the revenue generated by the sewer services,” Wallin said.