State Rep. Avery Frix, R-Muskogee, on Tuesday commented on an announcement that the Taft Public Works Authority in Muskogee County received approval for a $99,999 Rural Economic Action Plan grant through the Oklahoma Water Resources Board to improve the authority’s water infrastructure.
“I very much appreciate the Water Resources Board working to administer this grant that will help improve the quality and delivery of water for the residents of Taft,” Frix said. “This also will help keep costs lower for these utility users in the long run.”
The Taft Public Works Authority will use the funds to sandblast and paint a water standpipe, to install an aeration/recirculation pump as well as a dedicated line at the standpipe, and to install other necessary valves and controls. The estimated total cost of the project is $345,838. In addition to the OWRB REAP grant of $99,999, the remainder is being funded by a Community Development Block Grant grant of $205,839, an Eastern Oklahoma Economic Development District REAP grant of $40,000.
Joe Freeman, chief of the OWRB’s Financial Assistance Division, calculated the grant will save the authority’s customers $179,998 in principal and interest charges by not having to borrow the project funds. Since 1983 the Water Resources Board has approved over $4.5 billion in loans and grants for water and wastewater infrastructure improvements throughout Oklahoma.
OWRB Executive Director Julie Cunningham expressed gratitude for Frix and State Sen. Dewayne Pemberton, R-Muskogee, for their continued support of water and wastewater infrastructure funding in Oklahoma.