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Press Release
July 21, 2015

Panama Public Works Authority Receives $87,000 Grant for Wastewater System Improvements

The Panama Public Works Authority (Authority) in LeFlore County received approval for a $87,000 Rural Economic Action Plan (REAP) grant Tuesday through the Oklahoma Water Resources Board (OWRB) to improve the community’s wastewater infrastructure.

The Panama Public Works Authority owns and operates a sewer system that serves a population of 1,413. The existing sewer system consists of gravity collection mains and a wastewater treatment plant that discharges into the Poteau River. Due to age, the collection system experiences high amounts of inflow and infiltration during heavy rainfall. Line replacement and spot repairs are needed throughout the system to reduce these inflow and infiltration issues. The proposed project includes removal and replacement of approximately 265 linear feet of 8-inch sewer line, removal and replacement of one manhole, sewer line spot repairs, and other related construction.

Joe Freeman, chief of the OWRB's Financial Assistance Division, calculated that the grant will save the Authority’s customers $156,600 in principal and interest charges, by not having to borrow the project funds. Since 1983 the Water Resources Board has approved over $3.2 billion in loans and grants for water and wastewater infrastructure improvements throughout Oklahoma.

“We are grateful to State Senator Mark Allen and State Representative Ed Cannaday for their continued support of water and wastewater infrastructure funding in Oklahoma,” said J.D. Strong, OWRB Executive Director.

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