LEAKESVILLE, MS (WLOX)- Crowds gathered Monday at Leakesville Town Hall to celebrate a new federal grant to update the town's sewerage system.
U.S. Representative Gene Taylor and U.S. Senator Roger Wicker helped USDA Rural Development State Director George Phillips announce the $2 million federal grant.
"We know that this is gonna do a lot of good for a lot of people here in Leakesville," Taylor said.
"It's wonderful to be back in the heartland of Mississippi and the heartland of America, to see the federal government team up with local leadership to improve the quality of life," Wicker added.
Half of the money is a grant, the other half is a long term low interest loan. All of these funds are desperately needed in Leakesville.
"It would not be possible for the town to have carried out such a program without the participation of the federal government, and this nice grant they have given us," said Mayor Harry Garretson.
Phillips said it's unusual for a town of this small size to receive such a large amount. The funding comes as part of a series of grants and loans to small communities throughout the state.
"We're delighted that we could make this award, and people of Leakesville will see the benefits," Phillips said.
With the new funds, the town of Leakesville will be able to dredge their entire sewage lagoon and significantly increase its capacity. They will also build a pretreatment plant beside the lagoon, upgrade old sewer lines, and add more than a hundred customers to their service.
One of those new customers will be Leakesville Elementary School. The school houses nearly 600 people every day.
"This $2 million is going to mean a heck of a lot to the city of Leakesville," Taylor said.