Water has been the matrix of life since the beginning of time. It has built societies and maintained well-beings for centuries on end. This resource also happens to be one of Nebraska’s greatest assets. Consequently, residents of Fremont, Neb. (pop. 26,456) have learned the importance of upkeep regarding this precious resource. The community has made an effort to reverse the aging effects of their more than 100-year-old water mains. The city was experiencing problems with the integrity of these mains, and felt that the replacement was an infrastructure necessity for better serving the area. As Fremont assessed its water needs, they also investigated ways to finance this critical water system.
The Northeast Nebraska Economic Development District developed a three-year strategy for the City of Fremont. After careful consideration of these assessments, the staff applied for, and received, a $131,821 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) in October 2010 from the Nebraska Department of Economic Development. Members of the community were instrumental in the process by coming together and voicing their concerns for the much needed improvements.
The CDBG funding allowed Fremont to make much needed improvements to its existing water system. The project allowed for 1,400 feet of new water mains. This benefits 51 percent of the low-to-moderate income beneficiaries. The new water system includes a water storage reservoir to facilitate treatment and allow off-peak pumping. New wells are being installed with variable speed drives to reduce electric demand.
By now better meeting its water needs, Fremont proudly and fully supports new future development. With the help of CDBG funds and dedicated residents, Fremont’s economic future is met with a wave of success.