Michigan communities to receive more than $160 million in loans

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In response to new state standards, a number of communities across the Michigan have received low interest loans from the state. The money will be used to fund water supply projects and to improve water quality.

The city of St. Louis was awarded with one of the larger loans in the state, more than five-million dollars.

Robert McConkie, city manager of St. Louis, said the city plans on using the money to improve the waste water treatment plant and collections system to address deficiencies.

“We have to make the discharge requirements of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, and the improvements will help meet those requirements of the DEQ,” McConkie said. “It will also reduce the flow of water to the waste water treatment plant by eliminating infiltration and in-flow of stormwater into our system.”

Currently, McConkie said, the city meets state requirements, but there will are new standards that will take effect by late 2015.

He said he expects the requirements to bring new challenges.

In addition, he said, the city is in the process of replacing its drinking water supply, through a separate project.