On May 17, the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA) approved the city's application for Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding under the Disaster Recovery Fund, Appropriation 2, in the amount of $2,222,872. According to the official paperwork, which arrived at City Hall Monday, $45,000 of the grant monies are to be used for grant administration, while the remainder is for water facilities.
"I am ecstatic about receiving the grant, and proud that the City of Brazil will soon be seeing improvements to the water system," Mayor Ann Bradshaw told The Brazil Times. "This has been a very long process up to this point."
The plans to apply for the water grant began in November 2007, when an income survey was sent out to customers of the Brazil Water Utility.
While the grant is beneficial to starting the projects, it only accounts for slightly more than a quarter of the total cost.
"We are still waiting for approval on the city's application for the State Revolving Fund (SRF) loan," Bradshaw said. "Other than that, everything still looks to be on schedule to begin construction, particularly on the new water tower at Craig Park, by the end of June or early July.
The SRF application is requesting a loan of $5,930,000, which will help pay the remainder of the cost of the projects.
The city also conducted a pre-bid meeting May 17, in which numerous contractors attended to learn about the projects, which are split into five bid packages. The division of the projects is as follows:
* Division A -- Distribution system (water mains, meters, hydrants, etc.),
* Division B -- Well field,
* Division C -- Interstate-70 elevated water tank (250,000-gallon capacity),
* Division D -- Craig Park elevated water tank (750,000-gallon capacity), and
* Division E -- New booster station/SCADA system.
The bids will be opened at 1 p.m., Wednesday, June 2, in a meeting that is open for the public to attend.
"After the bids are opened, they will be taken under advisement for review by the Common Council of the City of Brazil and the Board of Public Works and Safety," Bradshaw told The Brazil Times. "The bids will then have to be approved during a separate public meeting, in which a date has not been set at this time."
With the start of the projects on the horizon, Bradshaw expressed appreciation for all the hard work all those involved have done.
"This wouldn't be happening if everyone wasn't working together with the goal of improving the city," she said. "I am very thankful to all those who have helped in any way since we started the process with the income survey."