City of Parkersburg receives $500,000 water main grant

As Parkersburg city administrator Chris Luhring thinks about the future of his community and ponders the writings of philosopher and naturalist Henry David Thoreau, his primary concern is leaving the town in even better shape for the next generation. A $500,000 water main grant from the Iowa Economic Development Authority and the federal Housing and Urban Development (HUD) department will go a long way toward ensuring that he and other officials can achieve that goal.

The funds, on top of the $700,000 the city is already planning to invest, will help to replace the mains with six to eight inch units for most of the downtown area and the northern part of Parkersburg (between 100 and 200 homes).

“The water quality in that area will be better, and the firefighting resources in that area will be better,” Luhring said. “This is today’s generation’s project. This is one more thing to check off a list and say ‘Well done, we did a good job. What’s next?’”

Assistance from the state and federal governments also means that the city won’t have to drastically raise water and sewer rates to pay for the upgrades, and as the work on critical infrastructure never really ends, it’ll provide a bit of a cushion for the next major undertaking.

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