A cistern installation project for Pavillion-area residents may need more funds from the legislature. The state allocated $750,000 dollars to install clean water cisterns for households with polluted groundwater. All but $100,000 dollars is already contracted out and 9 additional applications are underway.
But Governor Matt Mead’s natural resource policy advisor, Jerimiah Rieman, says the true budget won’t be known until the first round of cisterns is installed.
“It’s too early to be making judgments about the budget when phase one installation is not complete,” he says. “There are a number of contingencies built into the contract with James Gores and Associates to install those cisterns and we do anticipate that we will recoup some funding that will then be made available for round two installations.”
Rieman says each cistern will have to be engineered individually, and some cisterns may come in above the estimated cost of $20,000 dollars, while others may cost significantly less. He says if, once installation is complete, funds are short, they’ll act.
“We’ve always had that conversation, that if $750,000 wasn’t enough we would go back to the legislature to seek that funding,” Rieman says. “The funds come out of the Water Development Commission’s funding and wouldn’t be a general budget appropriation. So, it is possible that we have to go there and we’ve always made that clear that we would do that if we needed.”
Enrollment in the cistern program is still open.