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Medora moves to secure loan for $8M wastewater treatment facility:

MEDORA — City leaders here took another step Wednesday toward the construction of a new wastewater treatment facility slated for $8 million.

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During a special City Council meeting the body voted unanimously to move ahead with the application process for a loan through the North Dakota Department of Health Division of Municipal Facilities and Public Finance Authority’s State Revolving Fund.

The SRF loan balance would be about $1.7 million, though up to 30 percent could end up being forgiven. The special meeting was called because the loan application deadline is March 1.

“This is basically a low-interest loan, but we need to apply for it by the end of the month,” Medora Mayor Doug Ellison said. “Interest on the loan will not start until we actually draw down on the loan. We’ll also have a pretty good chunk of loan forgiveness because this is a green project.”

Councilmen John Tczap and Kevin Clyde were absent.

The city hopes to get the bulk of the money for the project through the state’s Energy Infrastructure and Impact Grant Program. Selection of recipients for the next round is set for June.

City leaders decided last year that a new mechanical treatment facility would best suit Medora, which is home to an estimated 116 all-season residents, though the area swells with seasonal inhabitants and tourists during the warmer months.

Information provided by the firm Advanced Engineering and Environmental Services states that the city’s current lagoon wastewater treatment infrastructure is “currently near or exceeding existing capacity.” If all goes according to plan, Ellison said the treatment facility — which would be located south of town near Bully Pulpit Golf Course — could be completed in 2016.

If the city were to abandon the project without constructing wastewater treatment improvements, any loan forgiveness funds already paid would be converted back into a loan, according to a Feb. 13 email sent from CWSRF program manager Dave Bergsagel to the city.

Bryan Horwath
A Wisconsin native, Horwath has been covering news in the Oil Patch of North Dakota since 2012. Horwath currently serves as the senior agriculture and political reporter for The Dickinson Press and, despite the team's tendency to always let him down, remains a diehard Minnesota Vikings fan.
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