USDA Approves City for Water Storage Repair

By Will Johnson
Messenger Reporter

CROCKETT – The City of Crockett has received the go ahead from the United States Department of Agriculture for needed repair work on the city’s crumbling infrastructure.

“This is from USDA funding to completely renovate both of our elevated water storage towers, inside and out. The funding also includes work on our ground storage tank which is a million gallon facility.  The work will replace two smaller storage tanks with one large million gallon capacity tank. It also covers replacing all of our water meters with smart meters,” Crockett City Administrator John Angerstein said.

The city administrator said the funding started out as a 50/50 grant where the city would have to match 50 percent of any funds released to Crockett.

“However, because of our water rates,” Angerstein indicated, “we did not qualify for a grant. The USDA study said our water rates were not high enough to justify a grant. They said if our rates were higher and we still needed the money… we didn’t qualify for that but we did qualify for a very low interest (two percent) loan. That’s what we are moving forward with – a very low interest $3.4 million loan.”

Angerstein said with the re-structuring of the city’s water billing procedures, the revenue generated would cover the loan payments.

“We received notice of this a couple of hours ago (on Aug. 24). This is a good deal because, it’s not just fixing some of our infrastructure needs, but it will steer us in the right direction in a lot of other ways. It’s been a long time in the making,” Angerstein said.

“(Former Crockett City Administrator) Sean (Hutchison) started on this project before he left and when he left it just kind of sat there. The USDA would not release any funding so we kept on having to revise our grant and reword it to place high enough to receive the money,” he added.

Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at wjohnson@messenger-news.com.