Spokane Journal of Business

Cheney lands $21.8 million loan for water reclamation

City hopes to fund most of the project with grants

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The city of Cheney recently secured a $21.8 million low-interest loan from the Washington state Department of Ecology as part of the city’s continuing effort to reclaim water through the city’s Wastewater Treatment and Reclamation Plant.

Despite securing the loan, city officials will continue to pursue grant dollars at the federal and state level for an anticipated $24 million project that will reclaim treated wastewater for irrigation of athletic fields and parks within the city during the summer months, says Todd Ableman, Cheney’s public works director.

In the state’s last biennium, the city of Cheney collected $2 million in grant funding, then secured an additional $11 million in the current biennium, he says.

“We’ll be focusing on federal grant dollars now,” Ableman says. “This effort is part of a long-term project that is still possibly another three to four years out.”

Ableman says any loan money the city decided to use would pay down any long-term debt on the project.

An estimated one-third of the project’s funds will be dedicated to building a separate treatment facility. The project also will entail an ultraviolet light water treatment and filtration system, a separate reuse water storage facility, a booster pump, and water main infrastructure from the treatment plant to the parks and playfields, Ableman says.

Cheney was one of nearly a dozen municipalities in Spokane County that secured either grant or loan money for water projects. Statewide, the Department of Ecology distributed more than $300 million to communities across Washington, according to the department.

Kevin Blocker
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