Tribune-Courier General Manager
Customers of the North Marshall Water District will soon begin to see a number of upgrades thanks to a low-interest loan and grant money from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
USDA Rural Development State Director Tom Fern announced last week $3,600,000 in funds have been set aside to improve the district’s water system. The funds include a $2,850,000 loan at an interest rate of 2.75 percent over 40 years and a $750,000 grant.
Bobby Gifford, Superintendent of North Marshall Water, said the funds will allow the district to make needed upgrades to the system’s infrastructure without passing a rate increase along to customers.
Among the improvements planned across the district is the construction of a new 250 gallon water storage tank on Race Track Lane behind Holley Office Supply, just off U.S. Hwy 68 in Palma. Gifford said he hopes the tower can be erected within the next three months at a cost of around $600,000.
Gifford said funds from the USDA will also be used to rehabilitate the 50,000 gallon water storage tank near Maggie’s Jungle Golf on U.S. Highway 641. That storage tank will have the coating stripped and reapplied both inside and outside at a cost of around $140,000. He said the life of the tank is dependent upon proper periodic maintenance.
The remainder of the funds from the USDA loan and grant are earmarked to replace water mains which have required a high degree of maintenance in the past few years. Gifford said lines which have had the most money spent to maintain will be first in line for replacement. He identified water lines in the Moors and Cambridge Shores areas as among those slated for replacement.
Gifford said the district plans to repay the loan much quicker than the 40-year term.
USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, administers and manages housing, business and community infrastructure and facility programs through a national network of state and local offices. These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents and farmers and improve the quality of life in rural America.
The North Marshall Water District serves 5,530 customers.