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Success Stories

Cherokee Hills Utility District Road to Success

Water Construction Project

It’s been a long road to success, but more than 330 customers of the Cherokee Hills Utility District, will soon have something to celebrate. Cherokee Hills Utility District, a small utility district in Southeast Tennessee, was facing serious water supply and shortage problems with very few resources to address the issues. That was until they reached out to the Chattanooga Area Office for assistance.

In April 2020, Cherokee Hills Utility District received a $30,000 Special Evaluation Assistance for Rural Communities and Households (SEARCH) grant to develop a preliminary engineering report, environmental report, and USDA application for funding to correct deficiencies within the utility district’s system.

As a result of this evaluation, in February 2021, Cherokee Hills received more than $1.4 million in Water & Waste Disposal loans and grants to construct a new 50,000-gallon Steel Water Storage Standpipe and rehab the existing 50,000-gallon Fiberglass Composite Water Storage Tank for an emergency back-up. The funding would also, complete Pump House replacement, replace approximately 5,000 liner feet of existing water mains including the addition of seven 3-way fire hydrants and several new flush valves at the end of dead-end water mains, and construct a new 40-100 gallon per minute deep well to serve as a back-up water source.

As time would have it, the ladder effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, rising construction costs, and severe drought issues in the area made for a major setback.

In May 2024, Cherokee Hills was approved for more than $1.2 million in additional funding to resume the construction of their project. They also received $920,000 in Emergency Community Water Assistance Grant (ECWAG) funding to address the water supply shortage caused by the Fall 2023 drought. Cherokee Hills Utility District is excited to report that construction will begin in Summer 2024!

“Our entire customer base and Cherokee Hills Utility District Board of Directors are eternally grateful for USDA Rural Development helping our small community maintain access to clean, abundant drinking water,” James Proctor, Chairman Cherokee Hills Utility District said. “Without USDA Rural Development, our future as an independent utility district would be in jeopardy, along with our ability to reliably deliver water to our families and neighbors.”

Obligation Amount:
Year(s) of Obligation:
Congressional District:
  • Tennessee: District 3