Funding will facilitate creation of centralized water treatment plant to serve East Mesabi, lowering costs for residents

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Tina Smith (D-MN) announced that they have secured $2.5 million in federal funding to strengthen water infrastructure in Aurora and the East Mesabi region. 

Specifically, the funding will facilitate the creation of a centralized water treatment plant to serve the cities of Aurora and Bibawik, which will reduce utility costs for residents. The funding will also enable necessary renovations to the existing Aurora water plant. 

“Updating drinking water systems is essential to ensuring the health and safety of our communities. This funding will make a real difference for Aurora and surrounding cities, enabling critical improvements to water treatment plants and lowering costs for families,” said Klobuchar. “I’m proud to have worked with local leaders to secure these resources and improve water infrastructure in communities across the East Range.” 

“It may not be the flashiest project, but updating the wastewater treatment facility is critically important for those in and around Aurora and the East Mesabi region,” said Smith. “I am proud of our work to secure this funding, which will cut utility costs for Minnesotans and strengthen our water infrastructure.”

“Our Project team was honored and elated to receive word that our joint East Range Water Project is slated to receive $2.5 million of federal funds to help finance our Project. Our Project will provide a new, more reliable and better-quality drinking water system to serve the needs of our East Range communities. Plans for this Project have been in process for over a decade and the Project is now fully designed and poised to begin construction once the last financing commitments have been secured. This Congressionally Designated Spending appropriation which Senator Klobuchar has spearheaded on our behalf is critically important for the success of the Project and is truly, and deeply appreciated. Our thanks go out to the Senator and her dedicated team for all of your efforts and support for this great water project,” said Doug Gregor, Mayor of Aurora.

Klobuchar and Smith have been actively involved in securing this federal funding for projects benefiting communities across the state through a process called “Congressionally Directed Spending” (CDS). During the CDS process, Klobuchar and Smith have considered project proposals and advocated for funding in close coordination with leaders from across the state.

Projects are expected to receive funding over the next several months.