PRENTISS COUNTY, Miss. (Press Release) — A rural water association serving residents in Prentiss County has been awarded a $1.41 million grant to upgrade a water system with a new water well and larger storage tank, a development directly linked to the rural development title of the 2014 farm bill, according to U.S. Senator Thad Cochran (R-Miss.).
Cochran, the ranking Republican on the Senate Agriculture Committee, on Tuesday reported that the Big V Water Association will receive the grant, as well as a $1.81 million low-interest Rural Development loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). In all, the Booneville-based association will receive $3.2 million to dedicate to upgrading its water system.
“This grant and loan package will help this rural water association modernize a water system in order to keep it functional for the families and small businesses that rely on it,” Cochran said. “Many small communities and rural areas have limited wherewithal to make the expensive infrastructure repairs and upgrades that are often necessary to meet stringent federal safety and environmental requirements. The 2014 farm bill responded to this need, offering new resources to help rural communities.”
In order to improve service to almost 1,400 households and small businesses, the Big V Water Association is expected to use the USDA award to replace a nearly 50-year-old inoperable well, rehabilitate a second 1980s-era well, construct a 100,000 gallon elevated water storage tank and upgrade some water lines.
According to the USDA, “When completed, this project will provide approximately 1,366 rural households and small businesses with a cost effective, safe and reliable drinking water delivery system. The improvements will ensure that the Big V Water Association will continue to be sustainable and will allow for continued growth and promote rural economic development in the service area.”
The 2014 farm bill enacted in February provides $150 million to improve rural water systems. The law authorized the USDA Water, Waste Disposal and Wastewater Facility Grants and Loans program to provide grants, loans and loan guarantees to public agencies for projects that support the development, storage, treatment, purification, or distribution of water or the collection, treatment, or disposal of waste in rural areas.