GERMFASK - A recent water improvement project will provide benefits to nearly 100 rural residents in the Germfask area of Schoolcraft County.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Development Program provided Germfask Township with $1,570,000 (a $395,000 loan and $1,175,000 grant) for a second production well, a new 75,000-gallon ground-level accumulation storage tank, a centrifugal pump station, 4,500 feet of 12-inch water main, 4,000 feet of 8-inch water main and appurtenances, pumps, water meters, a standby generator and a river crossing.
The project brings the township into compliance with the Safe Drinking Water Act and will benefit 93 rural customers.
A well-drilling unit set up for work on the Germfask Township water development project. (Michigan Department of Environmental Quality photo)
"It's been a great improvement for the community," said Germfask Township Supervisor Omer Doran. "We got a few more people water that surely needed it."
Work began last July to install water lines and hydrants. A second well, a generation system and a second township river crossing were completed, putting the township in compliance with directives from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.
In late September, work began on well drilling and construction of a well house. That work will be completed this year.
"The first thing in the spring it will be completed," Doran said.
With the recent water system improvements, another roughly 30 township residents hope future grant funding will be available to bring upgrades to their parts of the rural community, Doran said.
The mission of U.S.D.A's Rural Development is to deliver programs in a way that will support increasing economic opportunity and improve the quality of life of rural residents.
As a venture capital entity, Rural Development provides equity, liquidity, and technical assistance to finance and foster growth in homeownership, business development, and critical community and technology infrastructure.
Further information on rural programs is available at a local USDA Rural Development office or by visiting USDA's web site at www.rurdev.usda.gov