The city of Bellevue was awarded $350,000 from a federally funded Community Development Block Grant earlier this month.
The grants are awarded to communities after being reviewed by a state Economic Advisory Council and receiving final approval from the governor.
The money will be combined with $300,000 in Bellevue city funds to pay for installation of a portion of the city’s water delivery system. The project is part of an effort to replace deteriorated and undersized water mains and to install fire hydrants and meter vaults.
Mike Choat of Galena Engineering in Hailey, a consulting engineer for Bellevue, said that by the end of summer, the city will have replaced about 85 percent of its ineffective water mains.
“The exact amount will depend on the kind of bids we get for the construction work,” Choat said.
Since 2010, the city has been spending money each year to upgrade its water system and install meters. Last year, the city spent about $500,000 combined with $200,000 of federal funds to install 10,000 feet of water pipe and install 200 water meters.
About half the homes in Bellevue have had water meters installed, and some commercial accounts are already being assessed water use fees based on estimated gallons per month of use. When all of the homes in the city have water meters, the city will charge for water based on gallons consumed rather than by a monthly fee.
Planning Administrator Craig Eckles said his goal is to have the city’s water distribution system upgraded, including meters, by 2020.
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