Water is one of Nebraska’s greatest assets. But without appropriate infrastructure, access to water ends up being inadequate, at best. The Village of Morrill’s (pop. 921) water tower had been in service for a number of years and was in major disrepair. The 55,000-gallon tower was not able to keep up with the water needs of the village’s nearly 1,000 residents. Numerous other problems only complicated the water system. After contemplating several options to fix the problem, the Village Council decided a new 300,000-gallon elevated tank needed to be constructed. As the Village assessed its water needs, they also investigated ways to finance this critical water system.
Morrill officials worked with the Panhandle Area Development District (PADD) to identify funding sources. After completing necessary community assessments, Morrill applied for and received a $350,000 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) in November 2009. Additional funding for the project came from State Revolving Funds.
The Village of Morrill Council was the driving force behind the project. They understood the need for a new water tower and took action by working with PADD on securing funding sources.
The CDBG funding allowed Morrill to make some much needed improvements to its existing water system. Nine hundred fifty-seven Morrill residents benefited from the project, including 555 low-to-moderate income beneficiaries who now have reliable access to water. Not only did it give residents improved water pressure and a more dependable water source, but the Village is now in a better position to support new development in the future by meeting the water needs of that development. Morrill’s improved water system is a small part of a much larger regional well field project which will serve Morrill, Mitchell, Lyman and Henry, Nebraska.
The Morrill community has been very supportive of the village’s improved water system, including the new water tower on the west end of town which is viewed by travelers on Highway 26.