Congressional money requested for emergency generator in Craig | CraigDailyPress.com
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Congressional money requested for emergency generator in Craig

Craig as seen from atop the sandrock north of the city.
Cuyler Meade / Craig Press

Sen. John Hickenlooper has asked for over $1 million in federal dollars for the City of Craig Water and wastewater emergency generators. The money, requested jointly with Sen. Michael Bennet, was part of a larger ask for millions of dollars to be spent on projects across the state.

Specifically, the money for Craig’s portion would be used for the purchase and installation of emergency generators, transfer switches and other energy security measures for the water plant. In total, the city of Craig could receive $1,080,000 for the project.

“We had a lightning strike two years ago at the plant that took the whole plant down,” city manager Peter Brixius said. “(It caused) tens of thousands of dollars in damage — just over $100,000 in damage. It was a significant power outage.”



Brixius said that the potential funds would go toward backup generators in order to prevent damage or potential outages in the future. Depending on the time of the year and other factors, there could be up to five days of reserve in the storage tanks.

“We just felt like it’s a good time to think about backup generation, and we’re adding improved water treatment plans in an emergency situation,” he said.



Funding for this project isn’t only coming through this avenue, Brixius said. The city is also looking at other ways to fund projects, including funds from Just Transition and the Economic Development Administration.

This money would come from the congressionally directed spending (CDS) process. In addition to accepting programmatic requests, which the Committee does every year, the Senate Appropriations Committee will on a bipartisan basis accept requests for congressionally directed spending items for fiscal year 2022. Earlier this week, Hickenlooper announced $158 million in funding for projects across Colorado were recommended for inclusion in the fiscal year 2022 federal appropriations bills. Of those projects, 50 of them specifically requested funding through the CDS process.

In total, the 50 projects across the state could receive $85 million from CDS. Other projects in northwest Colorado included in this request are a $3.5 million project that would design and construct a four-bay fire station in downtown Steamboat Springs and a $5.8 million project that would install solar power technology at three facilities in Rangely.

To qualify, CDS requests must be submitted by local governments or non-profits. Senators may then request inclusion of these projects in one of the 12 annual funding bills, and Congress then negotiates final appropriations. The House of Representatives and Senate will have to vote before they become law and communities receive funding.

“We probably won’t have an answer on (whether or not the city will receive federal funds) until, I’m told, late November or December,” Brixius said.


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