Gem State Roundup

Challis awarded $3 million loan from Idaho DEQ to rebuild water system

By: - August 23, 2022 4:00 am
Challis logo

Challis is the county seat of Custer County, Idaho. (Courtesy of the city of Challis)

The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality awarded a $3 million low-interest loan to Challis in Custer County to fund the construction of a new well, well house, booster station, transmission line and to perform leak detection on waterlines, according to a Department of Environmental Quality press release. 

Challis qualified for a disadvantaged loan, with payment terms that favor the recipient, because the annual cost of drinking water for residential customers costs over 1.5% of the median household income. 

In November’s elections last year, Challis residents voted to allow the city to sell $3.5 million in bonds to pay for improvements to the city’s water system, according to reporting from the Challis Messenger. Challis Mayor Mike Barrett told the Challis Messenger that the city already had $1.25 million in grant funds at the time. 

Department of Environmental Quality Grants and Loans Bureau Chief MaryAnna Peavey said the loan is the funding that the Challis voters approved.

The loan is funded with the Department of Environmental Quality’s State Revolving Loan Fund, which is supported through grants from the Environmental Protection Agency. The loans have a 1.5% interest rate and can be paid over the course of 30 years.

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Anteia Elswick
Anteia Elswick

Anteia McCollum is an intern with the Idaho Capital Sun. She will graduate from a the University of Idaho with a journalism degree in December. She has served as a columnist, reporter, photographer, graphic designer and editor during her time at The Argonaut, the UI student newspaper. She also freelances with Project FARE, a nonprofit focused on telling Idaho's food stories. In 2017, she joined the Idaho Army National Guard as a combat engineer and will complete her contract in December 2023. She's an avid outdoor enthusiast with an interest in environmental reporting as a lifelong career. Her hobbies collide with her line of work, including reading, photography, design and some outside activities like backpacking and wandering around the local farmers market.