Surge money funds Plaza lagoon improvements
By Edna Sailor
The city of Plaza has needed improvements on its existing lagoon for a long time. The current system is outdated and was built in the fifties. Philip Westgard, Plaza City Councilman knows improvements were badly needed.
"We understand that our sewer system is an aging system, but for a long time our community was shrinking, not growing and the money to keep it up wasn’t there over the years," he said.
All of that changed when the Bakken happened and the community began to experience some occasional growth spurts. A new subdivision south of the community was added and more people began to move to town. It wasn’t the case that Bakken dollars suddenly stated to flow into city coffers. It took some special attention to draw money into the community.
"We started to experience a need for more capacity and the state changed its regulations on storage and overflow, We had been grandfathered in then with previous inspections," Westgard said.
Westgard remembers that in 2007 the state funded a survey of the community’s infrastructure needs and it was determined at that time Plaza would need $7 million dollars to meet future needs. Vision West worked with the city for strategic planning.