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Perham awarded $2.4 million for water treatment

Perham has been awarded $2.4 million from the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration for investment in the city's wastewater treatment system.

The announcement from EDA indicated that it anticipates at least 300 jobs to be created with the expansion.

Chuck Johnson, Perham's Economic Development Director, said the funds will be used to replace the water treatment aeration system which is inefficient and causes an odor problem in the city. The funds also will be used to construct a 20 acre treatment pond adjacent to the current one.

"The industrial activity in this town has a tremendous impact on the water and sewage system," Johnson said. "We are running close to or at capacity and have to address this so we don't choke off industrial or residential growth."

"Perham has a strong industrial economy, and this EDA investment will help to keep that robust," said Congressman Colin Peterson "With Perham's businesses exporting to 21 different countries, the city has a large impact on the regional and national economy."

Mayor Tim Meehl said the award will cover around half the cost of what the city budgeted.

"We had to do this project because we've outgrown our sewer system," he said. "This will help save our taxpayers a lot of money by keeping down the rate increases."