Kent residents were asked Wednesday to show support for a nearly $1 million grant and corresponding loan through the USDA for the design and reconstruction of failing sewer lines and a pump station.

A town meeting was set that evening at Town Hall for residents to authorize the Board of Selectmen to "accept and expend" the funding already applied for by the Sewer Commission.

"The USDA requires that the town show support for the project," said First Selectman Bruce Adams. "We don't have a guarantee that we're getting the funding, but we've been led to believe by people in high places in the USDA that the funding will be approved."

The money would be used to design and construct a system rehabilitation including, but not limited to, the replacement of the deteriorating Bridge Street sewer main and to completely rebuild the pump station near Kent Center School that pumps sewage under the Housatonic River.

A sewer plant update would also be included in the project.

The $993,000 total funding is expected to come in the form of 45 percent grant money, with the remaining 55 percent as a loan to be repaid over 45 years, at an interest rate of 3.5 percent.

Mr. Adams said the Sewer Commission should "easily" be able to repay the loan from its own revenues.

Sewer Commission members have struggled for some 18 months to find money to repair, replace or reline the vitreous clay sewer main laid in 1886.

Replacing wornout, outdated components at the pump station and at the waste water treatment facility have also been priorities.

With warnings from engineering consultants that sections of the line were "ready to collapse," Sewer Commission members approached Kent residents in June of 2009 for a loan from town coffers for repairs -- a request residents rejected.

Sewer rates were increased in January to cover plant operations.

Sewer Commission chairman John Casey was not available for comment.