Senatobia is one of six communities in Mississippi that will receive a portion of $13 million in U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) grants and low-interest loans to support water and broadband infrastructure improvements.
The announcement was made by Senators Cindy Hyde-Smith and Roger Wicker on Tuesday, Dec. 21.
The release stated USDA Rural Development approved $6.39 million in grants and $6.67 million in low interest loans for projects in Jasper, Monroe, Pontotoc, Quitman, Oktibbeha, and Tate counties.
“USDA Rural Development works as an active partner with rural communities and service providers to make utilities, including broadband, more available to people and businesses in Mississippi. These six awards reflect those efforts,” said Hyde-Smith, who serves on the appropriations subcommittee that funds USDA grant programs.
Senatobia is in the early stages of a complete overhaul to its wastewater treatment plant at an estimated cost of $8.8 million. The city was awarded a $1.64 million loan to upgrade the existing collection system and components to help prevent overflow situations. Older equipment and increased demand on hydraulic loading associated with the city’s growth have resulted in failures and repairs.
“This is a nice surprise, and we are very thankful to Senator Hyde-Smith and Senator Wicker for their hard work,” said Senatobia Mayor Greg Graves. “Our wastewater treatment facility is in dire need of upgrades and this will help us make improvements to better serve our water customers.”
Five of the six USDA awards, including the one in Senatobia, are through the USDA Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant Program, which provides resources for water infrastructure projects serving rural areas with populations of 10,000 people or less. Hinds was the only county to receive funds for broadband improvements.
“Infrastructure is critical for the well-being and economic success of our state,” Wicker said. “Congress and the Department of Agriculture are working hard to ensure these Mississippi communities have the resources they need to improve their water and broadband infrastructure.”