LODGEPOLE, Neb. -- A Nebraska Panhandle community is getting closer to an upgrade of its water system.

The village of Lodgepole is in the process of an overhaul of its water system, courtesy of a grant from the USDA Rural Development's Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant Program.

The project is approximately two months from being finished according to Sara Pierce, loan specialist, Community Programs, USDA Rural Development.

The Cheyenne County village submitted an application through the Water and Waste Advisory Council in Spring of 2020 and was awarded $1.8 million by USDA Rural Development and received a Community Development Block Grant from the state in the amount $435k to connect two existing wells, install new piping, and build a new 150,000 gallon elevated water tank to combat contamination in the village’s water supply.

“This was a great project for this community, and I was so happy we were able to help them,” said Pierce.

The 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.

According the USDA, the program helps very small, financially distressed rural communities extend and improve water and waste treatment facilities that serve local households and businesses.