FAULKTON, SD -
The small town of Faulkton now has new waterlines and a new tower.
Grants and loans helped cover some of the millions of dollars the project cost. But now another one is waiting for completion.
"Our next big step is obviously the sewer. We've got an equally aging sewer system," mayor Tim Bormann said.
Replacing the sewer will be cost millions of dollars more. The only way the community can afford it is through grants or loans with perks that make repayment easier.
And Faulkton is just one community of many needing upgrades but looking for the funding.
An association that works with dozens of towns in the northeast says replacing aging water and sewer systems top the list of items communities receive funding for.
As the systems get old, some don't comply with modern regulations and others have so many problems the towns can't keep up with repairs.
Bigger cities face issues too. The state has fined Aberdeen because of sewer problems and the city plans to spend close to 8 million dollars over the next five years replacing old pipes.
But small towns don't have room in their budgets for that kind of money.
"It gets a little bit daunting at times. You sit and look at how much you're spending," Bormann said.
Which is why both federal and state funding sources become a lifeline in communities like Faulkton- sources the city hopes stick around as its infrastructure doesn't get any younger.
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