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Beaver City Gets New and Improved City Water System With Assistance from USDA Rural Development

Meredith Mingledorff
Release Date
Jul 28, 2022

Beaver City recently completed an upgrade of their water system with assistance from USDA Rural Development’s Water and Waste Disposal Direct Loans and Grants program.

It started with a call to the Kearney Office of USDA Rural Development in August 2018 during NationalWater Quality Month. Beaver City needed to update their city’s water system and reached RD Community Programs Loan Specialist Dave Fulton.

Mayor Leighton Schmidt applied for the program and the city was awarded more than $1.2 million in grants and a low interest long term loan for just over $2 million.

The funds provided for two new larger wells, new piping, and a new elevated water storage tank.

The city’s public water supply system serves approximately 326 residential and 35 non-residential water connections. The city owns and operates five wells, two of which were threatened in 2017. A third well was removed from service in 2015 and the community’s aging water storage tank was more than 50 years old, making a new system critical for the small rural Nebraska town.

Overcoming this obstacle at any time would have been a challenge, but Beaver City persevered through a pandemic to finish the project, which now successfully provides an adequate supply of clean drinking water during peak demand. The pride can be seen on the city’s new water tower, which boasts a patriotic red, white, and blue paint job.

National Water Quality Month is dedicated to making the most of the relatively small amount of fresh water. Having clean water is vital to individual health, our collective agricultural needs, and the needs of our environment.

The Water and Waste Disposal Direct Loans and Grants Program provides funding for clean and reliable drinking water systems, sanitary sewage disposal, sanitary solid waste disposal, and storm water drainage to households and businesses in eligible rural areas. Qualified applicants who are not otherwise able to obtain commercial credit on reasonable terms include most state and local governmental entities, private nonprofits, and federally recognized tribes in areas with a population of 10,000 or less.

This program helps very small, financially distressed rural communities extend and improve water and waste treatment facilities that serve local households and businesses. Good practices can save tax dollars, improve the natural environment, and help manufacturers and businesses to locate or expand operations.

In Nebraska, the following specialists are available to assist applicants apply for this and other Community Program funds:

North Platte Office – Sara Pierce (308) 221-3689

Kearney Office – Dave Fulton (308) 455-9844 or Kaleb Browning (308) 455-9838

Norfolk Office – Anthony Guenther (402) 371-5350 ext. 120 or Marla Ourada (402) 437-5598

Lincoln Office – Marshall Stephens (402) 437-5732 or Niki Dittmer (402) 437-5737

Under the Biden-Harris Administration, Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities, create jobs, and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements in business development, housing, community facilities, and high-speed internet access in rural, tribal, and high-poverty areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov/ne. If you’d like to subscribe to USDA Rural Development updates, visit our GovDelivery subscriber page.

USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.