RUMFORD, Maine — Dozens of communities, mostly in rural parts of the state, will soon receive funding to help support improvements to wastewater infrastructure.
"Cleaning the water that we use in our homes and businesses before it's sent back into the environment could not be more important, but it is costly," Governor Janet Mills (D-Maine) said Monday.
According to Mills, the state is awarding $22 million through the Maine Jobs and Recovery Plan to support 20 different wastewater facilities across the state.
"Maintaining our water and sewer infrastructure across the state of Maine is critical to preserving our clean water, to protecting public health, and to reducing costs for taxpayers," Mills said.
Gov. Mills made the announcement Monday in Rumford, one of the areas that will receive a grant for wastewater infrastructure improvement projects.
"The Rumford-Mexico Sewerage District hasn’t had any major upgrades since its inception in 1976," Rumford-Mexico Sewerage District Superintendent Roland Arsenault said. "So, the facility is in dire need of a lot of infrastructure improvements."
According to the Mills administration, the Rumford-Mexico Sewerage District will receive a $1 million grant to improve a number of pieces of equipment and the facility as a whole.
"There’s a lot of costs in just renovating the building itself, however the operational equipment is also in need of a lot of work," Arsenault said. "You can’t buy parts for 40 year old equipment anymore so, a great deal of work needs to be done."
The Rumford-Mexico Sewerage District also provides wastewater treatment for the town of Dixfield. According to Rumford's town manager, the region is actually showing signs of growth. Town officials hope infrastructure improvements will allow the facility to meet the needs of a growing community.
"Over this last 10-year census period, we’ve actually seen growth, and we’ve seen a lot of growth in businesses. We’re on the upswing and we’re gonna keep the train going in that direction," Rumford Town Manager Stacy Carter said.
"We'll be able to handle expanding growth in the community for a long time coming forward," Arsenault said.
The $22 million in Maine Jobs and Recovery Plan funding announced Monday will support projects around Maine over the next four years, including projects that will repair and replace wastewater infrastructure to improve operations, reliability, resiliency to climate effects, environmental impacts, and economic development.
Here is a full list of communities that will be receiving grant funding for wastewater improvements, according to the Governor's office.
- Anson-Madison Sanitary District - $2.278 million
- Biddeford - $1 million
- Greater Augusta Utility District (2 awards) - $2 million
- Calais - $2 million
- Ellsworth - $2 million
- Eagle Lake Water & Sewer District - $1 million
- Hartland - $1 million
- Houlton Water Company - $1 million
- Livermore Falls - $1 million
- Loring Development Authority - $167,950
- Mapleton Sewer District - $917,235
- Millinocket - $800,000
- Old Town - $733,020
- Pittsfield - $498,210
- Rockport - $1 million
- Rumford-Mexico Sewerage District - $1 million
- Stonington Sanitary District (2 awards) - $403,510
- Van Buren - $463,509
- Machias - $893,589
- Winterport Water District - $553,746