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CAPE MAY - Cape May faces the need for significant investment in its desalination plant at the heart of its water system management plan.  

The plant, a New Jersey pioneer effort at using desalination as a water system option, is aging and in need of repair, while water demands also press for expansion. 

A list of potential projects to modernize and expand the system was presented to Cape May City Council March 3, 2020, with an associated investment estimated at $29 million over 10 years.  

The city’s water system services approximately 5,000 permanent residents, including customers in neighboring West Cape May and at the Coast Guard base. 

The city’s governing body April 20 awarded a contract for engineering services aimed at crafting an implementation plan for water system infrastructure improvements and plant expansion 

The plan would include an evaluation of funding alternatives. The city expects to attract viable sources of outside funding for the effort. 

The council also passed a resolution approving a grant application to the U.S. Department of Agriculture for funds that would offset most of the costs associated with the implementation plan development. Mayor Zack Mullock said the city stands a good chance of receiving the grant. 

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