San Luis, Ariz., likely to get $500,000 grant to improve water system
San Luis, Ariz., is in the final phase of being approved for a $500,000 grant from the North American Development Bank (NADB) to improve water infrastructure. The paperwork finalizing the grant is expected to be completed in the next two weeks.
The grant will fund the construction of a 16-inch, 1.5 mile underground water line that will connect a newer water pump on the East Mesa with an older water system in the central part of the city that currently has six well sites.
The construction of the project will take place in the area of Avenue H and Avenue F ½ and will provide additional water storage and distribution capacity to more than 5,400 residential and commercial customers. The project will almost double the size of the city's water supply.
“The city's access to its own water supply will increase from 4 million gallons per day to more than 7 million gallons per day, once this new pipe comes on line in the upcoming months,” said city of San Luis community development director Michael Trend.
“During the summer months, water consumption in San Luis can reach nearly 4 million gallons per day, which is close to capacity. This new pipe provides direct access to a much larger and existing water reserve, so we are very fortunate to have received this funding.”
The city of San Luis will begin accepting construction bids for the project in about six weeks, said Karin Meza, city public information officer.
Then “once the project begins, it should finish within 120 days,” she added, noting it is “very important” to improve the city's water infrastructure “because the city is growing, and there are several users in the older part of the city that will benefit.”
The city of San Luis “needs this, and we are very fortunate that we will have the budget to be able to complete this very important project through this grant,” she continued.
The city of San Luis is one of 11 communities on both sides of the American-Mexican border, and the only city in Arizona chosen by NADB in coordination with the Border Environment Cooperation Commission (BECC). The grant financing will be made available through the Community Assistance Program (CAP).
The grant program, approved by the BECC-NADB Board of Directors in February 2011, is being used to provide financing for small environmental infrastructure projects in communities with little or no capacity to incur debt.
“Supporting communities with critical infrastructure needs, but without sufficient resources to carry out projects, is of primary importance to the bank,” said Gerónimo Gutiérrez, managing director of NADB.
“In keeping with our mandate, the bank and BECC will continue to look for ways to promote investment in environmental projects for all border communities.”
After final approval, four U.S. communities including San Luis, Ariz., and seven Mexican cities, will receive grants totaling an estimated $3.77 million to build or rehabilitate priority water and wastewater infrastructure projects that will directly benefit about 178,000 residents.
The cities were chosen from a pool of 111 applicants – 56 in Mexico and 55 in the United States.
“We are very excited (and) very fortunate that the city of San Luis was the only one funded from Arizona,” Meza said. “The BECC received over 100 applications for its CAP, including 10 from our state and we were the only ones in Arizona that got it. We feel proud.”
The selected communities were chosen through a prioritization process using criteria based on financial need, level of project readiness and the impact of anticipated environmental and health benefits.
“This support is going to disadvantaged border communities to address the backlog in water and wastewater infrastructure needs,” said Maria Elena Giner, BECC General Manager.
“We worked with NADB to select the projects with the greatest impact on the environmental health of the communities with the greatest needs.”
Chris McDaniel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 539-6849.