Grant to help fund Bush sewer projects

Posted: Tuesday, April 23, 2002

ANCHORAGE(AP) -- A $23.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture will help the state continue to supply rural Alaska with safe water and sewer systems.

The agriculture money, along with another federal grant expected this year from the Environmental Protection Agency, will be matched with state funds and used on water and sewer projects in 22 villages from Beaver to Pilot Point.

The projects continue Gov. Tony Knowles' promise to put honey buckets in museums and flush toilets in every household, said Michele Brown, commissioner of the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

Villages must see to it that a local resident is trained to maintain its system, and residents must pay water and sewer bills to finance operations.

About $420,000 of the grant will be used to finance regional rural maintenance workers who get called out when something goes wrong with water and sewer systems in about 170 villages.

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