The city of Braham discussed pursuing a grant opportunity from MN DEED to help extend water, sewer, and street improvements to their industrial park during their meeting earlier this week.
An estimate had been conducted for the project back in March of 2021 and put the overall costs at around $210,000. An updated estimate saw the cost jump nearly $84,000 due to inflation and supply and demand issues.
While the expansion would give the city a shovel-ready business district, exiting interim city administrator Lynda Woulfe touched on the city’s future debt service and what future rates would look like for citizens.
"When I modeled your utility rates and went out for a seven year period, in about four years your people are probably going to be paying water and sewer bills that are 15 to 20 percent higher then they are now."
The city did have a business owner interested in a large section of lots in the past but didn’t pursue it due to the lack of utilities and road access to the sites. The grant would cover roughly 45% of the financing needed to complete the project with the city matching the rest.
The city is already dealing with nearly $23 million dollars in needed water and sewer improvements with state bonding this year looking unlikely. The council approved pursuing the infrastructure grant funding unanimously.