Winlock, Vader and Lewis County governments were awarded grants of $750,000 each through the Community Development Block Grant program for infrastructure improvement projects, the state Department of Commerce announced this week.

CDBG grants are funded by the federal office of Housing and Urban Development and administered through the state Department of Commerce. The department announced that 27 projects selected from 41 applications will receive $10.5 million.

“Partnering with local governments to create infrastructure is essential to our mission of strengthening communities,” said Department of Commerce Director Lisa Brown in a press release detailing the distribution of monies across 25 rural cities and counties in Washington.

Lewis County will receive $750,000 for the refurbishment of a fire and emergency facility. The county applied for the grant on behalf of Lewis County Fire District 3 in Mossyrock, said County Manager Erik Martin,

Lewis County will also receive $24,000 for a water system condition assessment in the city of Vader. In addition, Vader was allocated $750,000 to enhance the city’s wastewater treatment facility.

Vader City Clerk/Treasurer Jill Nielson, said the money will go toward “upgrading the lagoon system” and “a total remodeling” of the plant.

“We have had trouble meeting our NPDES (National Pollution Discharge Elimination System) permit requirements of the effluent that’s been going into the (Olequa) creek,” Nielson said. “We have more inflow coming in than we can handle, so we are increasing our capacity.

The treatment method, she added, consists of making sure the incoming water is properly cleaned before it’s discharged into the creek.

Another city that will be expecting a share of the Department of Commerce distribution is Winlock, which will receive $750,000 to renovate its water distribution system.

Winlock Mayor Don Bradshaw said the latest grant is the second installment of $750,000 for the continued upgrade of old water lines through Canyon and Rice streets and into SE First Road.

“We will be replacing all side service to the homes. We will also be replacing water meters as needed,” he added.

Many of those meters, said Bradshaw, are anywhere from 80 to 100 years old, as many of the homes along that area have been built during the early decades of the 20th Century.

The project, he said, will pave the way for the installation of new sidewalks next year along with similar work along Arden Street.

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