Officials from the U.S. Economic Development Administration awarded the City of Baxter a $1-million grant Monday to replace an 8-inch water line to the Portobello America site.
The funds will be used to upgrade to a 12-inch line and to extend the sewer system to the manufacturing site. According to UCDD Deputy Director Tommy Lee, the existing water line is not capable of providing the necessary amount of water for Portobello’s production.
“Portobello uses a large amount of water for their manufacturing process,” Lee said. “The 8-inch water line could not supply their need with regards to the manufacturing process.”
Lee said in addition to allowing Portobello to operate, the upgraded waterline will meet TDEC regulations for industrial fire flow conditions for the factory.
In addition to the federal grant, Lee said Baxter received $500,000 from the Appalachian Regional Commission and $600,000 of local matching funds.
“It’s a $2.1 million total project cost,” Lee said.
All of the upgrades will take place within an opportunity zone on Ditty Road in Baxter.