Four southern Minnesota cities are approved for more than $12 million in grants and loans from the Minnesota Public Facilities Authority for projects that will improve wastewater and drinking water facilities.

The funding will go to Blue Earth, Kasson, Northrop and Welcome.

Blue Earth is planning improvements to its wastewater treatment plant and was awarded a $7.69 million low–interest loan from the PFA's Clean Water Revolving Fund.  The 20–year, 1.275 percent loan will save the city $1.28 million compared with what it would have paid for a conventional loan of the same amount.

Northrop was awarded a loan of $342,204 from the Drinking Water Revolving Fund to rehabilitate the municipal water tower. The 20–year, 1 percent loan will save the city $66,837 compared with what it would have paid for a conventional loan.

Welcome will build a new water tower and install two natural gas generators. The PFA approved the city for a $789,200 loan from the Drinking Water Revolving Fund.  The 20–year, 1 percent loan will save the city $137,696 compared with a conventional loan. In addition, the city is providing $170,000 for the project.

The Minnesota Public Facilities Authority provides financing and technical assistance to help communities build and maintain infrastructure that protects public health and the environment and promotes economic growth. Since inception in 1987, the PFA has financed $4.5 billion in public infrastructure projects in communities throughout Minnesota.

--KEYC NEWS 12