San Antonio, Texas – The North American Development Bank (NADBank) and the Village of Vinton, Texas hosted a groundbreaking ceremony for two projects that will provide new drinking water distribution and wastewater collection and will include the decommission of on-site septic systems. The total estimated project costs of both projects is US$20.44 million.
These projects are receiving up to US$6.5 million in grants from the Border Environment Infrastructure Fund (BEIF), which is funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and administered by NADBank. Other funding support was made available through the US Department of Agriculture-Rural Development and the Texas Water Development Board.
Special guests attending today’s ceremony included Congresswoman Veronica Escobar (TX-16), Village of Vinton Mayor Manuel Leos, EPA Region 6 Administrator Dr. Earthea Nance, Texas Water Development Board Member Kathleen Jackson, and NADBank Managing Director Calixto Mateos Hanel.
“I am delighted to join the North American Development Bank and the Village of Vinton as we break ground for two critical infrastructure projects that will provide clean drinking water and wastewater collection services to hundreds of households,” said Congresswoman Escobar. “In Congress, I have voted to secure robust funding for the EPA’s Border Environment Infrastructure Fund and I am proud to see how this federal investment is modernizing our water infrastructure and improving the quality of life for the residents of Vinton and other communities on both sides of U.S.-Mexico border.”
The Village of Vinton is located 12 miles from the U.S.-Mexico border and 25 miles north of downtown El Paso. The village has been able to capitalize on its proximity to El Paso and the international border to attract manufacturing companies. The Village of Vinton, “Our Times, Our History”, has a population of nearly 3,000 residents.
“Rural communities across Texas are taking the initiative to ensure they have the water they need, not only for today but also for the future,” said Kathleen Jackson, Board Member of the Texas Water Development Board. “I applaud the Village of Vinton and congratulate them on moving these impactful infrastructure projects forward. The Village’s continued leadership and engagement is key to the success of Texas and to providing reliable water and wastewater services for future generations.”
“Every community deserves access to clean water and a reliable wastewater system,” said Regional Administrator Dr. Earthea Nance. “EPA is proud to fund this project to help keep the residents of Vinton safe and thriving. We look forward to working with additional communities to build capacity in their water infrastructure through funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.”
The new drinking water system will include the installation of water distribution lines, meters, and a regional storage tank. It will increase access to safe and reliable drinking water services for more than 360 households by replacing the current substandard small water systems to provide access to a fully compliant water source and eliminate exposure to arsenic and pathogenic organisms present in the current water supply. As a result of the drinking water project, approximately 90% of the community will be connected to the drinking water system, including areas of Vinton already receiving service from El Paso Water (EPW), such as Holguin Avenue, Kiely Road, and Danny Boy Lane. Estimated total project cost is US$7.2 million.
The new wastewater collection system will provide first-time services for 506 existing homes and the decommissioning of on-site wastewater disposal systems. This will eliminate discharges of 275,000 gallons per day of untreated or inadequately treated wastewater from residential, commercial, and industrial sources. The Village of Vinton will own the collection system infrastructure, including a local lift station; however, EPW will operate and maintain the system. Estimated total project cost is US$13.3 million.
“These two projects that are starting today represent the joint efforts of local, state, and federal entities working together to provide the required funding to make possible access to quality water and wastewater services to communities such as Vinton,” stated Mateos Hanel. “The Bank was pleased to play a role in these infrastructure projects to benefit this community.”