USDA Rural Development joined Ipswich, South Dakota city officials, congressional staff, partners, and members of the community recently for a “raising of the ball” event. There was excitement in the air as the National Anthem was sung by members of the Ipswich High School chorus, drum roll, and all eyes focused on the crane raising the “ball” to complete the 150,000 gallon elevated tower. This was definitely a site to see as history was in the making in this small rural town – population 943. The original system, including the tower and lines were constructed back in 1910 – 100 years ago.
Thanks to the assistance provided through the American Recovery Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act) Funding through a USDA Rural Development Water and Waste Direct Loan in the amount of $1,635,000 and a Grant of $1,593,000 to the City of Ipswich, improvements are being made to its water system. Federal funds were leveraged with a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) of $500,000 and other state funding totaling $1,300,000.
The City of Ipswich purchases all of its water from WEB Water Development and the quality is excellent. USDA Rural Development financing was necessary to assist with keeping the rates from becoming high for the residents. The present water system has not had significant upgrades and this project will reduce line breakages and water losses where the old cast iron lines are still being used. The new elevated water tank will greatly improve water pressure and fire flows throughout the town. Water meters will be replaced and residents will soon be receiving a monthly bill verses the self-reading method currently being used.
“This project will allow Ipswich to have a water system which is second to none without adding high water rates for the city’s residents,” said David Penfield, Mayor of the City of Ipswich. “The loans and grants make it possible for Ipswich to continuing improving its infrastructure. We are a small community with all the benefits and amenities of a large community. Our goal is to advance into the future in a progressive manner for the benefit of all residents.”