A federal grant and loan will soon see sewer service improved and expanded for many in eastern Oktibbeha County.

U.S. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith and U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker announced on Wednesday that the East Oktibbeha Wastewater District would be awarded a $3,240,000 loan and $2,128,000 grant to expand its existing wastewater collection and treatment system to serve an additional 337 households.

The funding is part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Water and Waste Disposal Loans and Grants Program, which supports infrastructure improvement projects for water districts and communities with fewer than 10,000 residents.

Oktibbeha County was one of six recipients of the funding, which totaled out to more than than $19.7 million in USDA Rural Development grants and low-interest loans.

District manager Dwight Prisock, who manages the district for the Oktibbeha County Board of Supervisors, said the county has been working on securing the funding for the last three years and finally saw the process finished in September.

“This just provides money to add services to existing areas that are not currently served,” he said on Wednesday. “It’s very expensive to add sewer service, more than water service, and the grant helps keep the rates so it’s affordable.”

Prisock said the funding would help to add sewer service to University Estates, College Vista, Sheely Hills and continue up 16th Section Road and include Steele Plantation and add sewer for several other customers in the service area.

He then said the district’s service area basically runs from East Lee Boulevard east nearly to the county line, from Blackjack Road to the south and Old West Point Road to the north.

In the release, it is noted that Hyde-Smith worked to secure funding for this program as a member of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee.

“These grants and loans will help local utilities provide water and wastewater services to their customers more efficiently,” she said. “The infrastructure improvements should also increase safety and cost savings.”

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