Funding pool narrows for Gypsum projects |

Funding pool narrows for Gypsum projects

Sarah Mausolf
Gypsum, CO Colorado

GYPSUM, Colorado – Gypsum, Colorado officials had hoped to qualify this week for about $1.3 million in federal loans for a pair of utility projects.

However, most of the federal money that is available for such Colorado ventures has been tentatively earmarked for other projects, according to a list of eligible projects the state approved Friday. The money up for grabs comes from the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and is being distributed by the state.

About 20 percent of the overall funds the federal government allocated for wastewater and drinking water improvements is still available for green projects.

Gypsum could still qualify for a piece of that funding, said Carolyn Schachterle, an official with the state department of public health and environment.

Gypsum officials had been hoping to get about $937,000 to replace an aging water line at the town water treatment plant and install a hydroelectric power plant there. Also, the town wants $376,000 to build a composting facility at the American Gypsum mine.

Statewide, there is about $6.9 million worth of federal loans available for green drinking water projects. Also, about $6.3 million in loans remains available for wasterwater projects that are environmentally friendly. Those loans would have a 0 percent interest rate.

To remain in the running for those funds, Gypsum officials must submit a business plan to the state by June 15, making a case for why the project is environmentally friendly, Schachterle said.

The state likely will choose which projects get the loans in July, she said.

Gypsum council member Tom Edwards said it’s too soon to say whether the town will continue to pursue the loans. The town has already spent about $20,000 for engineering and consulting services needed to apply for the loans. Town officials must weigh whether pursuing the loans is worth any additional expenses, Edwards said.

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