The city of Ratón recently got a grant and loan package from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for $2.58 million to remodel the city's water treatment plant.
Ratón, the seat for Colfax County, will receive a loan of $1,754,000 and a grant of $829,000 through the USDA Rural Development Water and Environmental Program, according to an Oct. 6 press release from New Mexico's two U.S. senators and U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján, all Democrats.
"The Ratón Water Treatment Plant has served the city of Ratón well since 1947, but it is long past time for the system to be upgraded and repaired," Luján said. "This funding will not only allow Ratón to make those improvements, but will also address important health and safety concerns for the water plant's employees."
The city's water treatment plant serves 2,962 residents and 413 commercial customers.
Dan Campbell, water manager for Ratón, told The Taos News the water treatment plant sees an upgrade every 15 to 20 years. This time, he said, the city will completely overhaul two of the four systems used in treating surface water for personal and commercial use. Storage tanks will also be replaced, he said.
"The USDA provides important funding for rural development in New Mexico, and as a member of the subcommittee that oversees funding for the USDA, I will keep fighting for investments that help our rural communities thrive," said U.S. Sen. Udall.