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Warm Springs receives $269K federal grant for critical water line repairs

warm springs
KTVZ file

Agency area of reservation has been under boil-water order for weeks

WASHINGTON (KTVZ) -- Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., announced Tuesday the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs will receive a $269,000 federal grant to repair its main water line, where a major break has led to a boil-water order in the Agency area for several weeks.

“These urgently needed resources will help restore a dependable and safe water supply for the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs,” Wyden said. “That reliability is essential at any time, but especially now, when the community is working to keep its members healthy during the coronavirus."

"I’m glad the tribes have secured this assistance, and I'll keep battling to pass the Western Tribal Water Infrastructure Act that would direct federal funds to help the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs and other tribes with their water infrastructure.”

“Reliable access to clean water is a basic human right—and even more important during this public health emergency,” said Merkley. “By funding the repair of a critical water line, this grant will help deliver this essential service to the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs.

"But this grant is only one piece of a bigger puzzle when it comes to ensuring tribal nations have the infrastructure resources they’re entitled to, and I will continue to work in partnership with tribal leaders as we grapple with the coronavirus crisis and beyond.”

The $269,000 federal Housing and Urban Development’s Indian Community Development Block Grant from its Imminent Threat program assists Indian tribes and Alaska Native villages with activities to improve, repair or restore safe and healthy environments on Indian reservations, in Indian communities and in Native Alaskan villages in response to imminent threats.

“Clean water is critical to preventing the spread of COVID-19, and these funds will be useful in repairing the water system on our reservation," said Warm Springs Tribal Council Chairman Raymond Tsumpti.

A recent break in the water line over Shitike Creek has brought a third year of boil-water notices on the reservation. State lawmakers recently approved $3.58 million for water infrastructure repairs and upgrades. But officials say the price tag for a needed full replacement of the aging system could reach $200 million, KGW reported.

Article Topic Follows: Warm Springs

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