Local officials will harness funds from CDBG’s Water-Wastewater category to eliminate a long-term threat to public health and safety.

The village of Greeley Center (pop. 434) will become the latest Nebraska community to revitalize an aging municipal water system with support from the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program.

Administered federally by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and by the Nebraska Department of Economic Development (DED) on behalf of the state, the CDBG program helps Nebraska communities finance projects that enhance quality of life, benefit at-need residents and promote economic opportunity.

Greeley’s water supply, though safe for consumption and use, faces an all-too-familiar enemy: time.

Routine inspections of the village’s iron and manganese treatment system in 2015 revealed rust-related failure and leakage in the pressure tank, a vital system component. The town’s distribution lines were also deteriorating, causing both water and pressure loss. Local fire hydrants were in need of replacement. And if that wasn’t enough, Well #76-1 — one of only two water sources in the village — remained on “emergency use only status” like is had since 2013, with concentrations of iron and manganese too high for the compromised treatment system to manage.

Knowing it was time to make a game plan, Village leaders weighed their options. Potential solutions ranged from relocating Well #76-1 to a spot five miles away, to connecting to a nearby city’s water supply. In the end, officials settled on repairing and improving the existing system.

With $264,000 in local match, Greeley was able to secure $1.2 million in grants and loans from the USDA. A $435,000 CDBG grant — with no repayment required — filled in the last piece of the puzzle.

With construction slated for October 2021, Greeley’s water system will finally receive its much-needed overhaul. Engineers will drill a new source well at the site of #76-1, restoring the village’s backup water supply. They’ll also fix damaged components of the water treatment plant, replacing the existing iron and manganese unit and installing a new pressure valve system. New, state-of-the-art water meters will be installed, which will help the village better gauge water consumption. And new operating valves and fire hydrants will ensure the community is prepared to handle emergency events and maintenance shutdowns.

The project is scheduled for a June, 2021 completion date.

“This grant enables us to make critical updates and repairs to our water treatment and distribution system that we would not be able to do without this funding,” said Karla Costello, Village Clerk/Treasurer. “Combined, these resources are making a huge difference in our ability to restore and maintain critical infrastructure and to ensure a safe, stable water supply for our residents. We’re incredibly grateful for the support we’ve received from both the USDA and the CDBG program.”

For more information about the CDBG program, contact Steve Charleston at or 402-471-3757.