The city of John Day hopes to line up about $13.4 million in total financing by next fall for construction of a new sewage treatment plant, City Manager Nick Green told the city council Aug. 13.

That’s more than the anticipated cost of the project, Green said, but the additional funds will ensure flexibility in program allocation and meet any contingencies. Actual construction may not begin until spring 2021, he said.

Green identified five funding sources that include a combination of grants and loans from state and federal sources, including:

• Business Oregon water and wastewater program, $750,000 grant and $750,000 loan at 1% for 30 years.

• Department of Environmental Quality state revolving fund, $500,000 grant and $500,000 loan at 2.2% for 30 years.

• Oregon Water Resources Department, $1.6 million grant, primarily for purple pipe system to distribute reclaimed water.

• Federal Community Development Block Grant through Business Oregon, $2.5 million grant, the city has already been awarded about $200,000 for engineering.

• U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development, $6.9 million, grant or loan amount to be determined, interest rate to be determined for 40 years.

The city also will apply for two state Brownfield Redevelopment Fund grants that will help get junk and debris removed from the former Oregon Pine mill site and other property along the north side of the John Day River that was impacted by industrial use.

The $60,000 technical assistance grant and $25,000 integrated planning grant require a 10% city match. The funds can be used for a Phase 1 environmental site assessment, which is needed to determine if impacts to a property necessitate a Phase 2 ESA, Green said.

The Phase 1 ESA will be needed to apply for any federal Environmental Protection Agency multi-purpose grants, Green said, and planning assistance would help make the city’s application competitive. Green noted that DEQ recommended the city later apply for another larger grant to pay for removing junk and debris. This would not include soil remediation, which would be done later, including cleaning up any unneeded sewage ponds.

In other city council news:

• The council approved five transfers of city land, including 7,745 square feet of former Oregon Pine mill property to Robert and Bonnie Watt for $7,745.

The four other transfers involved properties on Boulder Lane adjacent to the city’s Davis Creek park area, where a new trail will pass by. The sale price for the properties was based on the actual cost of surveying and legal expenses, estimated at about $500 apiece, Green said.

The four transfers were 2,020 square feet to Sheila Bruce; 2,010 square feet to Robert McNeil and Mary Welby; 1,360 square feet to Douglas and Tonya Cates; and 1,170 square feet to Christopher and Larissa Giffin.

Richard Hanners is a reporter for the Blue Mountain Eagle. He can be contacted at or 541-575-0710.


Richard Hanners is a reporter for the Blue Mountain Eagle. He can be contacted at or 541-575-0710.

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