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McKenzie seeking to upgrade water system

The Town of McKenzie is hoping to secure a grant to replace a 50-year-old water system that doesn’t provide adequate fire protection for the town and is plagued by a number of leaks.

The McKenzie Town Council approved applying for a $350,000 Community Development Block grant that will replace two cast iron and galvanized water lines installed in the town, according to Cara Stallman, grant consultant with Grant Management LLC.

“There is a two-inch and three-inch and they were put in over 50 years ago,” Stallman said. “One was put in 1954 and the other was 1956.”

Because McKenzie has a population of less than 1,000, there will be no required match for the grant. The grant also falls under a small city fund since the population is less than 3,000.

“The Town of McKenzie has the most problems with leaks, and we just looked at trying to replace the old lines with a new six-inch PVC water line, which will also provide fire protection to the areas in the town that don’t have fire protection,” Stallman said.

The new water lines could potentially serve 140 beneficiaries and will replace lines at 52 households in the town.

The town applied last year for the same grant but was unsuccessful in getting the funding. Stallman said the town should know if it will receive the grant by the end of the summer.