Mayor Phil Torjusen announced today that the city of Gautier has been awarded $2.5 million in federal funding assistance by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to improve water quality and environmental infrastructure.
“Gautier’s overburdened water supply system affects the safety and quality of life of current residents and risks the long-term economic vitality of the city,” Torjusen said. “Remedying these deficiencies will not only bring Gautier into compliance with state and federal regulations, but also will improve water aesthetics and environmental quality of the Mississippi coast, including the fragile habitats of coastal waters.”
The city had budgeted $6 million from a revenue bond for the design and construction of a nanofiltration water treatment plant that will treat 3 million gallons a day. This facility will work contemporaneously with the city’s ionization plant that currently treats 1 million gallons a day. Critical improvements will include an additional well and piping to address aging infrastructure and increase the city’s capacity.
The funding assistance through the Army Corps environmental infrastructure program was crucial to ensuring the city could complete the upgrade and move forward with water infrastructure improvements.
“Gautier is committed to providing all residents with safe, clear water and has worked to address shortcomings of existing infrastructure through a comprehensive multi-year water resource improvement program,” Torjusen said. “With the strong support of our congressional delegation, specifically Congressman Steven Palazzo and Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith, our city will be able to make significant improvements to our water supply while bolstering environmental protection.”
In conjunction with Mississippi’s representatives in Congress, the city of Gautier looks forward to the next steps required to meet the needs of residents, businesses and local industries critical to the state economy and the national defense industry.
“I am grateful to know that our efforts on the appropriations committee have led to the desired outcome,” said Rep. Steven Palazzo (MS-4). “The residents of Gautier deserve to have access to strong environmental infrastructure that will maintain safe drinking water and open up opportunities for economic development. The health and safety of my constituents is my top priority and I am glad to know that Gautier residents will soon have clearer water.”
“Congress gives the Army Corps the discretion to allocate funding to projects that are underfunded but would have a near-term positive impact on public health and safety,” said Hyde-Smith, who serves on the Senate appropriations subcommittee that funds the Army Corps. “This additional funding will help Gautier achieve critical water quality services for its residents and important industries.”
The funding assistance is in addition to the $2.3 million in RESTORE Act funds the city received last summer to improve wastewater systems.