Brewster wins water awrd

BREWSTER – Water users in this city owe a collective debt of thanks to a handful of dedicated administrators who have really earned their pay while performing near-wonders on the funding front for water storage and system upgrades.
Those who still need convincing, need look no further than the Infrastructure Assistance Coordination Council (IACC) that held its ninth annual conference in Wenatchee on Oct. 24-26.
Brewster received the IACC’s annual Drinking Water Award for the just-completed renovation of one of the city’s 500,000-gallon reservoirs.
“We had no idea,” said city clerk Misty Ruiz. “We didn’t think this project was eligible. It was supposed to be completed on August 10.”
During a preliminary analysis, a crack was discovered in the reservoir and the repair process was delayed as options were weighed about going forward. The unexpected obstacle pushed the project beyond its August completion date and the final ribbon cutting dedication took place on Oct. 27.
Nonetheless the renovation impressed IACC enough to bestow the award “and this is just the first part of our project,” Ruiz said.
During the IACC’s morning session, Ruiz was asked to address the conference on Brewster’s water upgrade program including the seven-year struggle to win approval of the U.S.D.A. Rural Development funding to help finance the ambitious project.
Ruiz explained how Brewster’s dedication and persistence enabled the city to compress a projected 20-year water upgrade into less than half that time and corral some $6.3 million in funding, over 70 percent of which qualifies for loan forgiveness.
The conference chair cautioned the audience that in today’s public infrastructure financing climate, funding on that scale is all but nonexistent and forgiveness rates are more typically in the 30 percent range
“Receiving the award was wonderful,” said Public Works Director Lee Webster.
It was also a complete surprise to the Brewster attendees since the city’s engineering consultants, J-U-B Engineers of Spokane quietly nominated them for the award.
“The reservoir project was a great project from start to finish,” said Webster, “made possible with help from State Legislators Cary Condotta, Mike Steele, Jim Honeyford, Brad Hawkins and many others.”
Last year, the City of Pateros was recognized by the IACC for the decorative tiles that were added to the exteriors of its two prominently visible reservoirs.

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