SAWYER, ND – Residents in Sawyer, North Dakota will soon have access to better drinking water, thanks in part to a $125,000 community capital loan provided by the Rural Development Finance Corporation (RDFC). Founded in 1994 by North Dakota’s rural electric and telecommunications cooperatives, RDFC helps rural communities grow by offering low-interest financing
“This community capital loan is an example of RDFC’s commitment and the cooperative principle to help rural communities thrive,” says RDFC President David Sigloh. “Water is a fundamental human need. RDFC is happy to be involved with a project that helps improve drinking water for the people of Sawyer.”

The City of Sawyer aims to improve its water quality by connecting to the North Prairie Rural Water District. While Sawyer’s current drinking water meets the primary standards established by the Environmental Protection Agency, it is high in iron and manganese, which causes a brownish discoloration that is unappealing for consumption and hygiene purposes. It also results in more frequent replacement of plumbing fixtures and appliances. 

“To create a water treatment facility in Sawyer was cost prohibitive for the small community of 345 citizens, but a majority of the city’s voting residents approved the connection to rural water,” says city auditor Susan Schmidt. “The cost of construction for the connection is still a large endeavor for the community. Thankfully, RDFC was able to assist the community with financing that will complete the project and allow our citizens the opportunity for better water for all families.”

The $291,000 water improvement project is expected to be completed in September 2017. 

The Rural Development Finance Corporation (RDFC) is a nonprofit corporation that encourages economic diversification and community vitality through the generation of funding that supports sustainable asset building. Funding for RDFC programs comes from fee income generated by Dakotas America LLC, a community development entity providing New Market Tax Credits in economically distressed census tracks across the United States. Technical support is provided by The North Dakota Department of Rural Electric Cooperatives.