Story by Student Reporter Jessi Southworth
This year USDA Rural Development highlighted The City of Westport's upgrades for their outdated Wastewater Treatment Facility. USDA will be giving 3.9 million dollars in a loan through their Waste & Environmental Program; this will be used for the Wastewater Treatment Facility (WWTF) Renovation Project. This one was constructed in 1964, was expanded in 1974, and was modified several times with the newest in 1996. It is close to the end of its usefulness and is not meeting the processing requirements. The total cost of this whole project is $4,785,870.00.
The event started with The City of Westport's Mayor Michael Bruce, who spoke of on the importance of partnership. And Rural Development brought a tree to the city to plant in recognition of its efforts to maintain and improve the environment. USDA bought a Crimson Kind Maple tree locally from a garden center in the community of Grayland. This year though, Earth Day was also National 'Take Your Daughters and Sons to Work Day' and Rural Development Washington used this situation to show their children and grandchildren how they can work every day to protect and preserve the environment.
Presenting the tree to Westport on behalf of the agency were the children of USDA Rural Development Washington State employees, including: Joel Garcia (11), Julianna Garcia (9), and K'Misha Divens (9). Accepting the tree on behalf of the city were National Resources class students from Ocosta Jr./Sr. High School, including Conner Graham, Tannija Smith, Trevor Sweet, Joshua Edwards, Jessica Beyers, and Shayla Trammell. After the tree presentation, the city offered tours of the Wastewater Treatment Facility before everyone went over to the Westport Maritime Museum for a cake reception.
"The USDA Earth Day event in Westport was an outstanding success," said Mayor Bruce. "On behalf of the City of Westport, I would like to thank all the USDA Rural Development representatives (and children) for participating in this special Earth Day event."
(Jessi Southworth is the daughter of Becki Southworth, Washington State USDA Multi-Family Housing Specialist)
City of Westport Mayor Michael Bruce accepts a funding certificate representing a $3.9 million loan through USDA Rural Development's Waste and Environmental Program which will be used for the city's Wastewater Treatment Facility Renovation Project.
USDA Rural Development youth - Joel Garcia, K'Misha Divens, and Julianna Garcia - present a Crimson King Maple to the City of Westport in commemoration of Earth Day for the City's work to upgrade and improve their wastewater treatment facility.