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BPW Discusses ARPA Funds; Presentation Given

Discussion about the Holden water system and the possible use of monies from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) program were the main topics when the Board of Public Works (BPW) met May 3.

Tony Lerda, Water Superintendent, gave a Power Point presentation regarding needed improvements and ARPA funds that could be utilized. These included: •Replacing old and deteriorating water mains surrounding the downtown area; •Construction of a stormwater management system above and around the wastewater treatment facilities to eliminate the current flooding events; •A city-wide inflow and infiltration (I&I) study and remediation to eliminate sewage from overflowing into basements and out of manholes; and, •The stormwater project in the southeast part of town, north of the R-III school campus.

The total combined cost for the four needed projects, Lerda estimated, would be in excess of $2 million and this would would be long-term capital improvements that would serve Holden’s citizens for at least 70 years.

Newly-elected Mayor Ray Briscoe commented that the Board was attempting to learn how much money the taxpayers would save for every dollar spent.

Lerda explained the significance of the community’s understanding that these projects are not optional, because the BPW is required to complete these improvements by state and federal laws. “We all should look at how the City of Holden can get the most long-term benefit from this money, and where it will affect all citizens,” he said. “It is crucial to find any options for grants/monies, because without grant assistance these projects will be funded by the citizens of Holden through their utility rates and property taxes.”

Lerda said he felt Holden was most competitive with the Stormwater Project, because there have already been letters sent for being out of compliance with the flooding over the berms, etc.

He suggested getting the area’s state representative involved.

Lerda also said Holden might be able to get an outright emergency grant for this project, aside from the ARPA funds.

Resident Jim Toliver explained to the BPW that his backyard is always flooded after a big rain.

He said he had been told when the high school was built the water runoff wasn’t handled properly.

He inquired as to who is responsible for this.

Lerda explained the BPW deals with wastewater and drinking water only and that stormwater is a different committee.

He added the problem should be addressed with that committee.

Toliver’s second inquiry had to do with the recently-completed downtown MoDOT project.

He asked about the replacement of water and sewer lines, since it was his understanding the Department of Transportation didn’t complete these improvements.

See this week’s Image for full story.

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