WDAY: The News Leader

Published April 21, 2010, 01:05 PM

Finley receives $1.7 million for a new sewer system

Finley, ND (WDAY TV) - Communities around the region are celebrating Earth Week this week and in Finley, there is real reason to celebrate. A grant of almost 2-million dollars from the U-S-D-A is helping the small town fix some old, rotting pipes.

What lies beneath these city streets doesn't mirror what's above. These are pictures of Finley's 80-year old sanitary system, crumbling brick and rotting pipes.

Jasper Schneider: "How do you save rural communities, the reality is, is some are easier to save than others."

Since 1930 Finley's sewer system has been virtually unchanged. But after some news from the USDA today their wait for a new system is over. Today at a ceremony downtown the USDA presented the town of Finley with a 1.7-million dollar check. The city applied for a grant of 758-thousand dollars.

Larry Amundson: "Without that grant money I don't know what we would have done, it really would have put us in a bad situation."

The grant through USDA's Rural Development Utilities program will fix the five lift stations around the city, rebuild the old brick man-holes, and add drain tile to the lagoon system a few miles out of town. A new process called re-lining will be used to replace old sewer mains, which means most areas won’t need to be dug up.

Larry Amundson: “There are only a few places we'll have to do that; most of if will be done by this new method.”

As dirty as this job may be fixing an old sewer system, its essential for a rural community like Finley to spark new life.

Jasper Schneider: "Finley’s better days are still ahead of them."

Meter replacements for each of the five lift stations will start this Friday. Construction on Finley's sewer system should last through the summer.