Special To The Mississippi Link
CHOCTAW – Trina George, State Director for USDA Rural Development, was in Choctaw this week to celebrate a $1 million grant award to the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians.
The grant was obligated on Sept. 27, 2007, and the Tribe will use the funds for water and sewer upgrades to the Pearl River Community and the Health Center Development.
George met with Phyliss J. Anderson, the first female elected as Chief of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians.
The need for the project arose because the Tribe lacked the basic sewer services and water pressures to adequately serve the Pearl River Community and the new Health Center Development.
To improve the problem, the Tribe proposes to extend the sewer to the Pearl River Community and Health Center with a new 200 GPM duplex pump station; 10,000 linear feet of force main; 2000 linear feet of sewer main, and a generator. In addition to the sewer extension, the Tribe proposes to increase the pressure to the Pearl River Community Health Center with 13,000 linear feet of 8-inch C-900 PVC water pipe.
The contract for the project was awarded to IKBI, Inc. for $745,201 and preconstruction began on June 21, 2012.
“The grant represents USDA’s ongoing commitment to strengthen Tribes, Tribal businesses and Tribal governments and ensure that members of Tribes have the tools they need to expand economic opportunities and improve their quality of life,” said George.
The project was funded through the USDA Water and Environmental Programs 306C-Native American Grant.
Water and Environmental Programs (WEP) provide loans, grants and loan guarantees for drinking water, sanitary sewer, solid waste and storm drainage facilities in rural areas and cities and towns of 10,000 or less. Public bodies, non-profit organizations and recognized Indian tribes may qualify for assistance.
WEP also makes grants to nonprofit organizations to provide technical assistance and training to assist rural communities with their water, wastewater, and solid waste problems.
The 306C grant funds have been set aside for eligible projects that benefit members of Federally Recognized Native American Tribes and the Colonias area.
The purpose of the 306C grant is to provide water and waste disposal facilities and services to low income rural communities whose residents face significant health risks. Every effort is made to identify and fund the neediest projects.
Rural Development has a strong relationship with the Tribe and has awarded similar projects in the past.