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Grant money still available for local well repairs
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Applications for the Emergency Domestic Water Well Financial Assistance Pilot Program became available on Friday and while the County has yet to receive a formal application for access to the $200,000 available in funds, the public is showing interest.


The Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors approved the Emergency Domestic Water Well Financial Assistance Pilot Program on Aug. 26, which allocated funds for loan assistance from the County’s Economic Development Bank to “assist with defraying the cost of repair or replacement of adversely affected, domestic use water supply wells that have lost their ability to pump groundwater.” According to Stanislaus County Assistant Executive Officer Keith Boggs the website that hosts the application has been gaining traction both online and through phone calls. The program targets a select group of people, such as the working poor, who cannot afford to fix their own wells but are too advantaged for funds from the United States Department of Agriculture Loan Program.


“I believe this is the first thing of its kind and it really is turning crisis into creativity,” said Boggs.


Those currently bearing a significant financial hardship, failing well, and diminishing groundwater table can apply for up to $20,000 of the $200,000 and will be charged with repaying the loan with a one percent interest rate over the next five to seven years. Those eligible to receive funds include individuals who meet the following criteria:  a minimum credit score of 650; an income of up to $83,332 or 150 percent of the household median income for Stanislaus County; are the owner and resident of an unincorporated, residential parcel; and whose total debt does not exceed the debt-to-value ratio of 80 percent. 


Applicants must also review all Emergency Domestic Well Recovery Loan Program eligibility requirements and verify that estimates of repairs do not include unreasonable upgrades or replacements by a company not certified by the county. Preference will be given to the elderly aged 65 and older as well as fixed income residents. While the distribution of funds is contingent upon applicants approved application, there is no deadline for when individuals can submit applications.


“There’s no deadline. It’s a first come, first serve basis and we’ll run the program until the money runs out,” said Boggs.