Yerington celebrated Earth Day Wednesday with a volunteer fair at the Fire Station, a service project and an announcement that the community has been approved for more than $36 million in low-interest federal loans and grants to replace aging wastewater collection lines and water lines.
U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development Acting State Director Herb Shedd announced that Yerington has been approved for $32.8 million in USDA Water and Environmental Program loans and $3.4 million in grants to fix old and leaky sewage pipes and water lines that are a constant maintenance concern and threaten water quality in the area.
"Each year USDA celebrates Earth Day in a rural community that has shown commitment to protecting the environment," Shedd said. "Yerington is replacing water lines and a waste water collection system that is nearly 90 years old, is inefficient and threatens the groundwater. This is a cost effective way to improve infrastructure and protect the ground water for years to come."
The City of Yerington is contributing $2.2 million to the infrastructure project for an overall project investment of $38 million. The Yerington Paiute Tribe Colony will also benefit from the system upgrades from the grant portion of the funding. The cost for the Colony improvements was fully funded by grant programs that were a direct result of collaborative partnerships; no costs will be incurred for that work by the City of Yerington. The loan portion of the funding is approved for a 40-year term with a 1.375 percent interest rate.
Rural Development funds will be used to replace 26 miles of aged and decrepit water lines that serve 1,050 customers in the City of Yerington, The existing system has exceeded its useful life since its original construction in the 1930s. The new water lines will ensure access to clean water and will increase and stabilize water pressure for fire protection. The first phase of this project will replace more than 10 miles of existing pipeline in the downtown Yerington corridor from US 95A/W. Goldfield Ave. to the north all the way to Bridge St. to the south. New 16-inch connection to the storage tanks will also be installed during this phase.
The wastewater system improvements will replace a 1930s era wastewater collection system with aged clay pipes. More than 102,000 linear feet of old sewer main will be replaced, including the wastewater collection lines in the Yerington Colony. Breakage problems will be resolved and groundwater will be protected as a result of the project.
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