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Blue Earth nets $7.9M loan

BLUE EARTH — The city of Blue Earth has received a $7.69 million loan through the Minnesota Public Facilities Authority for improvements to the city’s wastewater treatment plant.

The authority provides financial and technical assistance to build and maintain infrastructure for communities.

According to a press release from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, the 20-year, 1.275 percent loan will save the city $1.28 million compared to a conventional loan of the same amount.

The plan to make improvements to the city’s wastewater treatment plant was put into action when it was approved by the City Council in June 2017.

Public Works director Jamison Holland said the project addresses many structural issues with a plant that was built in 1962 and 1963, as well as electrical issues.

There are also a number of pieces of equipment that have become obsolete that will need to be replaced.

The cost of the project is $7.36 million. Ground was broken on it in September, and the completion date is expected to be in October, given there are no issues or weather delays.

The southern Minnesota cities of Northrop, Welcome and Kasson also have received funding, it was announced Thursday.

Northrop was awarded a $342,204 loan to rehabilitate the city’s municipal water tower.

Welcome received a $789,200 loan to build a new water tower and install two natural gas generators.

“These projects are an investment in the future of these southern Minnesota communities,” Shawntera Hardy, who chairs the authority board, stated in the press release. “Along with safer drinking water, the cities will have improved facilities that encourage new businesses and economic development.”

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