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Politics & Government

New Castle County to apply for federal water infrastructure loan

Courtesy of New Castle County government

New Castle County is one of 39 government entities selected by the Environmental Protection Agency to apply for a federal water infrastructure loan.

New Castle County Executive Matt Meyer recently announced the county can and will apply for a $32 million loan.

County’s public works department general manager Tracy Surles says it’s to help pay for the Christina River Force Main Rehabilitation Project.

"The money would go towards our Christina River Force Main project, and the goal of that project is to provide redundancy," said Surles.

The Christina River Force Main is the main artery of the county’s sewer system, handling 70 percent of the wastewater above the canal according to Surles.

This is the first time any government in Delaware has been invited to apply for these funds, and the loan application process is already underway.

County officials are working with a federally assigned project team to assemble a formal application submission.

If the county receives the loan, it will be used to construct about 1,500 feet of new force main across the Christina River up to the connection with the Wilmington Wastewater Treatment Plant as part of the ongoing rehabilitation of the Christina River Force Main.

"We have no reason really to suspect there's major issues, but trying to be as proactive as we can we're starting to plan out this redundant line and again because of the magnitude of it it's going to take many years to get through all of the planning, design, and construction so we're trying to be as proactive as we can trying to avoid any kind of major issue," said Jason Zern, senior manager for the county public works department.

The loans are offered through the federal Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act.