STANFORD — Department of Agriculture officials have awarded more than $1 million in loan and grant funding for a water system upgrade project on Danville Avenue.
USDA Rural Development State Director Tom Fern said Stanford Water Department will receive $750,000 in low-interest loans and $310,000 in grant money for the planned water line replacement.
"The improvements to Stanford's water system are critical for ensuring safe and reliable water for area residents," Fern said. "USDA is proud to work in Partnership with the City of Stanford on this much needed water improvement project."
The project is the first phase of a plan to replace all of the city's older water lines and will replace eight-inch water lines along Danville Avenue from Somerset Street north to the Sunset Motel at U.S. 150.
The plan also includes installing six-inch water lines that will create a loop in the system, allowing for improved water quality and better water pressure.
Local officials have estimated 500-600 Stanford water customers will see improved water service either directly or indirectly from the upgrade.
Water Commission Chairman Jack Withrow said residents along Danville Avenue and Foster Lane will see the most direct improvement.
USDA officials have noted the entire population of more than 3,200 in Stanford will benefit from "adequate pressures and flow for fire protection."
The plan has been in the works for years, but now that USDA funding has been approved, Withrow said he's hopeful construction could begin within six months.
Withrow said there's still a lot of paperwork to complete and a long list of conditions that must be met before the project can begin.
"You've got to jump through a lot of hoops," he said.
The $750,000 loan portion of the funding is a 40-year loan with an interest rate of 1.875 percent, according to a USDA news release.