NADB signs $4.04 million Border Environment Infrastructure Fund grant agreement for water and wastewater project in Heber, Calif.

NADB has signed a $4.04 million grant agreement with the Heber Public Utility District for a project to upgrade and expand its water treatment and distribution system, as well as its wastewater collection system.

May 16th, 2003

Washington, DC, May 16, 2003 -- Officials of the North American Development Bank (NADB) has signed a $4.04 million grant agreement with the Heber Public Utility District (HPUD) for a project to upgrade and expand its water treatment and distribution system, as well as its wastewater collection system.

The signing took place at a special ceremony in Washington D.C. and was witnessed by community representatives from the U.S.-Mexico border region and staff members from the offices of U.S. Representatives and Senators.

The NADB grant is being provided through the Bank's EPA-funded Border Environment Infrastructure Fund (BEIF). The U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development (USDA-RD) is also contributing funds for the project, which has a total cost of $6.65 million. The project will provide better quality services for the 3,400 residents of Heber, California, a community located approximately five miles from the U.S.-Mexico border.

After signing the document, HPUD Board President Patricia Becerra and Utility General Manager George Aguilar thanked officials from the NADB and the Border Environment Cooperation Commission for their dedication to providing U.S.-Mexico border communities with the grant assistance needed to launch much-needed environmental infrastructure projects.

"On behalf of the residents of Heber, we appreciate the NADB's efforts to help improve our quality of life," Becerra said. "The signing of this grant signifies that our growing community will be properly served for the future."

The Heber project will upgrade and expand its water treatment and distribution system and its wastewater collection system. The water system improvements include the construction of a new package plant to expand treatment capacity to provide new and existing customers with quality service. Among the other improvements is the installation of back-up power generators that will guarantee continued service in the event of a power outage, and the installation of additional fire hydrants in the growing community. Replacing old and undersized sewer lines will help prevent uncontrolled discharge of raw sewage from manholes in some sections of the system.

"We are pleased to sign this $4 million BEIF grant with the Heber Public Utility District," said NADB Managing Director Raúl Rodríguez. "This community is just one of many along the border that needs grant assistance to face the challenge of building adequate water and wastewater systems."

Through its BEIF program, the NADB has approved more than US$433 million in EPA-funded grants to support the construction of environmental infrastructure in various communities, which will benefit residents on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border. Since its inception in 1995, the NADB has approved more than US$493 million in loans and grants for 57 infrastructure projects in the region.

The North American Development Bank, created under the auspices of NAFTA, is a financial institution established and capitalized in equal parts by the United States and Mexico for the purpose of financing environmental infrastructure projects along their common border. As a pioneer institution in its field, the Bank is working to develop integrated, sustainable and fiscally responsible projects with broad community support in a framework of close cooperation and coordination between Mexico and the United States.

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