PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – The city of Amity is getting $6 million in loans and grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to help improve critical water infrastructure. 

Amity, which is located in the heart of wine country, has been in dire need of water infrastructure improvements for several years. 

In 2021, former Mayor Ryan Lehman told KOIN 6 News that some city water pipes are so old, they’re made out of wood. 

With a population of under 2,000 people and even fewer ratepayers, Amity has struggled to cover the cost of replacing its old pipes, meters, and intake system. 

The city is more than five years into a water infrastructure project that it’s been paying for with grant and loan funding. This latest funding announcement will allow the city to further its progress. 

The USDA is issuing a $4,838,000 loan to the city and a grant of $1,500,000, through the Water and Waste Disposal Loans and Grants Program. The money will help improve the city’s water intake, wells, pipelines and pumps, which will improve the reliability of the city’s drinking water source. 

The funds will also go toward renovating and refurbishing the city’s water treatment facility to ensure its capacity meets Oregon Health Authority quality standards and produces enough water to meet current and future demand. 

The city has been working to move its water intake system from its position on the South Yamhill river to a new location that will allow cleaner water to enter the system. 

Lehman told KOIN in 2021 that with the city’s small number of ratepayers, it’s been difficult to get approved for loans, since they don’t have many people to help pay them back. 

To help cover the cost of projects and pay back the loans, the city has increased its sewer rates. 

The USDA Rural Development Oregon also announced Tuesday that it issued a $32,200 grant to the town of Dayville to help construct a new fire station. The town’s fire state was damaged beyond repair in July 2021.

The new fire station will be located at the site of the old one.