REED CITY -- Reed City officials have applied for a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) to help fund upgrades to city wastewater treatment plant.

"The city has been discussing the need for upgrades to the wastewater treatment plant and decided to put together a package for funding and apply for the $2-million grant," Reed City City Manager Ron Howell said.

CDBG is a federal grant program utilizing funds received from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Communities with populations under 50,000 may request grant funds to provide public infrastructure improvements necessary for economic development.

The Reed City city council held a public hearing Feb. 11 to get community input on the proposed grant application. However, there were no public or written comments received.

Following the discussion, the city council voted to approve the submission for the CDBG funding for $2 million, with a city match of $250,000 for the wastewater treatment plant improvements project.

During the meeting, Josh Redner, senior water and wastewater engineer from Fishbeck, an engineering and consulting firm, gave an overview of the planned improvements for the city's wastewater treatment plant.

The improvement plan consists of two phases. Phase I will include installation of a new pumping station, replacement of the chlorine system with a new ultra-violet light system and removal of sewer lines that cross the Hersey River.

After the sewer line is re-routed to the main pumping station, the trestle bridge will be removed, Howell said.

Once begun, the first phase is expected to be complete in about a year.

Phase II of the improvement project will include demolition of the unit processes and buildings at the South Plant site and replacement and relocation of those processes at the North Plant site.

The timeline for completion of the second phase will depend on funding available.

The total cost of the upgrades to the waste water treatment plant will be around $9.5 million, Howell said.

"The city will be applying for a long-term, low-interest loan from the USDA Rural Development Water and Environment Programs (WEP) to help fund the project, as well as any additional grant funds that may be available," he added.

WEP is a federal program that provides funding for construction or water and waster infrastructure needs in communities of 10,000 or less.