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BLOOMFIELD — Bloomfield residents will soon see their wastewater rates increase as the city works to replace its wastewater treatment plant.

The City Council accepted a loan and grant agreement from the New Mexico Environment Department. The agreement provides a total of $11 million in funding for the City of Bloomfield.

The agreement includes a low-interest loan of $7.65 million as well as a grant of $3.35 million.

Public Works Director Jason Thomas said the grant portion of the agreement was virtually all the money the program can offer statewide this year. He said the project was ranked number two out of 19 applications submitted statewide.

The agreement is contingent on the city raising rates by at least $3.22 per thousand gallons per month. The city is considering raising the rates to $3.25 per thousand gallons used each month.

He said the rate increase will generate the money to pay off the loan portion of the agreement.

Thomas said currently the city has the lowest sewer rates compared to Aztec and Farmington. Once the rate increase goes into effect, it will have the highest rates.

The city is required by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to replace the wastewater treatment plant by 2024.

Hannah Grover covers government for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652 or via email at hgrover@daily-times.com.

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