On Thursday, April 8 Aurora City went before the CIB to get funding for a new culinary water project. The project entails drilling a new culinary well and building a new water storage tank. The cost of the project is $2.65 million. According to Clint Johnson, Aurora City Recorder, there is a long history with the project. “Aurora City has been studying for years how to get the use out of their water rights to help provide water when irrigation water is short, like this year is projected to be. We decided to refurbish one of our wells that will drilled in the early 1980’s. We felt that this was a cheaper option to getting more usable culinary water. After spending about $300,000.00 out of pocket expense we weren’t able to get enough water out of the refurbished well. That put us back to the drawing board, we decided to pursue drilling a new culinary well next to one of our older wells located at the city cemetery,” he said.
Aurora went to the Division of Water Quality which offered Aurora City a 90% loan 10% grant option because they felt Aurora City was in a financial situation to take on more debt. They rejected that offer and went to USDA rural development. After the lengthy process, Aurora City was offered a 82% loan 18% grant option.
“The Mayor and City Council felt that we could not accept that offer as well because it would require a huge burden on the citizens,” said Johnson. “The city decided to go to CIB for funding of the water project. This past week CIB offered Aurora City a 70% grant 30% loan option which was a great offer for the city. Aurora City has accepted that offer because it is more affordable for the citizens. The best part of the CIB package was that they offered a suspend and fund motion which allows Aurora City to begin immediately. It probably won’t work out this way but it may be possible for the new well to be drilled and completed by middle to late summer which would allow us to provide more water to the citizens when we will surely be out of irrigation water. Nothing ever goes the way you want it to, so that is probably unlikely but it gives up hope. It is going to be a very dry summer.”