Mayor Chris Beutler today thanked federal and state officials for helping to fund the trunk sewer project that will allow development to begin in the 52-square mile Stevens Creek Basin. The Mayor was joined by U.S. Senator Ben Nelson and Karl Brooks, Region 7 Administrator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) near the construction site east of N. 84th St. and Havelock Avenue this afternoon.
Ground was broken in December 2005 for phase one of the project, which installed pipe from the Northeast Wastewater Treatment Facility on N. 70th St. to near North 84th and Fletcher streets. Phase two is now about 85 percent completed and is expected to be finished by the end of the year. It extends the pipe southeast just across the Murdock Trail. The total trunk line project will be built in nine phases as development occurs. It includes the installation of 15 miles of pipe at an estimated cost of about $53 million.
The cost of the current phase of the project is about $5 million. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is providing $1.25 million in grant funds and another $1.25 million in zero-interest loans. The CleanWater State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) is providing $2.5 million in loans. This federal and state investment is saving the City wastewater system an estimated $140,000 a year for 20 years.
"EPA across the country has invested $6 billion in stimulus funds for core projects that meet both economic and environmental needs," Brooks said. "That investment has already started to create and save thousands of jobs, along with delivering real environmental and health benefits."
"Recovery and reinvestment funds helped America avoid a depression and are pulling us out of a recession by putting people to work on needed public works projects like this that will help ensure the Good Life continues in Nebraska for years to come," Senator Nelson said.
Beutler said Stevens Creek had long been a barrier to the City's eastward growth, but the area now represents the largest development opportunity in the City's history. "Our communities can't grow without infrastructure," he said. "But it often takes a partnership among local, state and federal leaders to make these important projects happen. And these are tax dollars well spent, creating new jobs and a new opportunities for the future."
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