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Rocky Ford, Colo., will now be able to supply an adjoining development with safe water
After six months and a comprehensive series of technical submissions, engineering firm TST, Inc. of Denver has secured a $1-million federal stimulus grant from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) on behalf of their client, the City of Rocky Ford, Colo., for water improvements to the Hancock subdivision. City Manager Dan Hyatt had advocated for the need to improve their existing water supply since the year 2000, but as a rural, farming community of 4,500, Rocky Ford simply did not have the funding.
TST agreed to prepare detailed civil engineering reports, plans, specifications and environmental assessments to qualify for ARRA funding incurring both internal and hard-cost expenses totaling tens of thousands of dollars, with no guarantee that their client would receive ARRA funding. “It’s probably one of the bigger poker games I’ve participated in and I’ve never gambled a cent in my life,” said Bob Takeda, principal and founder of TST, Inc.
“Fortunately, the effort TST put into securing this grant money significantly helps us shed some of our debt burden to be able to finally provide a long-term solution to existing water resource issues in an important agricultural region of the state,” Hyatt said.
This project enables the city of Rocky Ford to supply an adjoining unincorporated development with a safe and reliable drinking water source. Nine other water providers in the region, whose water supplies are also in violation of Colorado’s safe drinking water regulations, are seeking TST’s assistance for pursuing funding for similar water infrastructure improvements. “The experience of competing for this stimulus money among some 80 Colorado communities for about 20 funded projects is an intensely fierce process, both in terms of time commitment, financial risk and required documentation. But it is well worth it to be able to help our outlying agricultural communities have the water resources they need to thrive,” Takeda said.
Construction begins the end of September. Completion of the improvements to expand a water supply to the Hancock subdivision is anticipated to take about six months.