Town of Kearny to receive $1.15 million for water filtration system

An environmental infrastructure authority championed by Rep. Greg Stanton to help small, rural and tribal communities in Arizona meet their water and wastewater infrastructure needs will see an investment of $18.45 million from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the second-term congressman said today.

Stanton secured the authority, which will ultimately provide $150 million for water infrastructure projects throughout Arizona, in the 2020 Water Resources Development Act which was signed into law by then-President Donald Trump.

“For far too long, small, rural and tribal communities in Arizona haven’t gotten their fair share of federal infrastructure dollars. It’s only right that the largest infrastructure investment in a generation includes funds for these communities to protect and conserve the Southwest’s most precious resource,” said Stanton.

Stanton, the only Arizona member on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, has worked closely with stakeholders across the state, including tribal communities, to identify projects that would benefit from federal funds and advocate for their inclusion in the Corps’ 2022 spend plan. In a committee hearing last week, Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works) Michael L. Connor described the growing demand for the environmental infrastructure authority funds in the state as water supplies become more scarce.

Under the authority, federal funds cover 75 percent of the total cost of projects and go towards assisting with design and construction. The first project to be funded under the authority is already under way: A critical water pipeline on the Pascua Yaqui reservation to boost water security for the community and support future growth.

The projects funded under the Corps’ 2022 spend plan are:

  • $3.5 million for construction of a waterline in Maricopa
  • $3 million for construction of a new wastewater treatment system for the Middle Verde District of the Yavapai-Apache Nation
  • $2.25 million to make wastewater treatment plant improvements in Buckeye
  • $2.25 million to install backup generators for Pima County’s water reclamation facility to ensure its continuous operation
  • $2.25 million to install reclaimed water pipeline and rehabilitate existing infiltration gallery at the Queen Creek Restoration Project in Superior
  • $1.5 million to construct the WF Killip Elementary School Regional Flood Detention basin in Flagstaff to mitigate post-fire flooding in the Sunnyside neighborhood
  • $1.2 million to continue construction of Flagstaff Downtown Flood Lateral Tunnel to provide flood protection for the area
  • $1.155 million to make improvements to the water filtration treatment plant in Kearny
  • $772,500 for water system improvements in Quartzsite
  • $578,000 to complete the water pipeline for Pascua Yaqui Tribe started last year

The Corps’ plan also provides $65.7 million to complete a flood control project for the Little Colorado River, consisting of new and reconstructed levees to protect the community of Winslow and other parts of Navajo county. The current levee system is at risk of overtopping or failing in a 100-year flood event, placing approximately 2,700 properties and 1,600 structures, including almost all of the community’s critical public facilities—hospitals, schools, nursing homes and utilities—at risk. This important project significantly reduces the threat to the community and surrounding areas. Stanton fought for authorization for the project under the Water Resources Development Act of 2020. He joined Congressman O’Halleran and Senators Kelly and Sinema in a letter last month urging support for the project.

Kearny Mayor Jamie Ramsey stated, “I am incredibly grateful for the $1.155 million in funding for water filtration plant improvements in Kearny. It is something that we desperately need.

“This project will enable Kearny to use the reclaimed water for things like our ball parks. We have received bids for the work, but it has been more than we could foresee paying. At this time, up to 0.25 million gallons of treated water per day are released into the Gila River. So, I am very excited about being able to use the water that we treat for something within the community. It could not have come at a better time. Little League is very popular in the community and we have had a difficult time with water. This will be a great help in keeping up our fields for the kids to enjoy.

“What I am even more thankful for is that Congressman Stanton did not forget about our small rural Arizona communities. He thought about Kearny, Arizona. We get left out too often. Rep. Stanton fought for us and for that I will be forever thankful.”

The Town of Kearny owns the municipal water service and the Town has been diligently working on making critical repairs to the system to create efficiencies and ensure long term operational sustainability.

Neighboring Town of Superior also received an award of $2.25 million to install a pipeline to pump a portion of their effluent water into the upper watershed of Queen Creek. The water released into the creek will help to repair the riparian area through Superior and repair the aquifer. Mayor Mila Besich commended Rep. Stanton for looking out for rural communities and working closely with Superior to make this project a reality.