In April 2008, flood waters swept through Fort Kent, Maine, damaging infrastructure and preventing emergency crews from accessing several existing water and wastewater facilities. As a result of the rising flood waters, the facilities sustained damage severe enough that they no longer met health and safety codes, leaving the community vulnerable should similar events occur in the future. The Town was in need of financial assistance for upgrades.
Help came in the form of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act loan and grant funds totaling $3,136,000 from USDA Rural Development, as well as funds provided by the Maine Emergency Management Agency. As a result of the investment, the Town of Fort Kent will be able to replace the damaged and inadequate facilities and equipment with new ones designed to meet current regulatory codes and standards. The result will be infrastructure that can withstand a similar flood incident should one occur in the future.
Also in Maine, “Cramped” and “tiny” are two words that have been used to describe Maine Rural Water Association’s current headquarters in the Fort Andros building in Brunswick.
Now the Association will have a new and spacious place to call home thanks to $500,000 in Recovery Act funds through USDA Rural Development.
The building, located in Richmond, Maine, is being renovated to suit their needs. The 4,000 square foot space comes just in time for the Association to celebrate its 30 year anniversary- and this is the first time in as many years that the Association will have its very own office!
The new location will include a training facility for water system operators, superintendents, and trustees, and allow for expanded services and adequate parking for its clients.
The Maine Rural Water Association provides training and technical assistance to 2,200 community water systems and approximately 150 wastewater facilities across the state of Maine. An Open House is planned for spring 2010.
“This is a big step for MRWA. We have always rented spaces and made them work for us. This space will be contoured to the needs of our membership, ” said Kirsten Hebert, Deputy Executive Director, Maine Rural Water Association.