U.S. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) has applauded the approval of more than $3 million in federal loan funding to improve water service for residents in Webster County.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development has approved a $3.73 million low-interest loan to the city of Eupora. The Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant funding will be used to improve water infrastructure.
“Improving water and wastewater infrastructure in Mississippi is an ongoing process, and USDA Rural Development investments in our state can help ensure rural Mississippians have access to clean water,” Hyde-Smith said in a March 27 release.
Eupora will use the loan to support construction of an elevated water storage tank to provide additional storage and fire flow capacity, in addition to a new 500-gallon-per-minute well and backup generator at the Tomnolen site, and LaGrange wastewater treatment plant upgrades. City Engineer Stanley Spradling said the new tank will be located on West Gould Avenue.
The 35-year, 3.25% loan is expected to improve the quality of life of more than 5,500 Webster County residents, according to the release from Hyde-Smith, who serves on the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee.
The Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant Program provides funding for clean and reliable drinking water systems, sanitary sewage disposal, sanitary solid waste disposal and storm water drainage to households and businesses in eligible rural areas.
The Eupora Board of Aldermen voted in 2016 to apply for the loan and a public hearing was held in January 2018. The board also voted in September to apply to the Local Governments and Rural Water System Improvement Board for funding to complete the project because Spradling said he did not think the city would qualify for the USDA loan. However, aldermen adopted a USDA loan resolution in November in case that funding did not come through.
The project is connected to proposed water system improvements in West Industrial Park. The city has applied to the Appalachian Regional Commission for a grant to fund the latter through the 2018 ARC Southern Automotive Aviation Workforce program. It requires a 30% match.