JENNINGS, Fla. — Three years worth of work paid off last week.

The Town of Jennings was awarded $316,499 worth of state funding through the Rural Infrastructure Fund to purchase a new aeration tank for its water treatment plant, Gov. Ron DeSantis’ office announced May 20.

The new 25,000 gallon tank will provide clean drinking water for the 870 residents of Jennings.

“It will also improve the overall health of the citizens of the Town of Jennings,” Town Manager George Glover said.

Glover said the current tank was in need of repair and the town had been working on finding its replacement since 2016.

“At this point, I believe it would be better to replace it than to repair it,” he added.

Glover said the new tank will cost approximately $332,000 and the town will be utilizing Community Develop Block Grant funds to cover the remaining portion of the purchase price.

With the awarding of the RIF funds, Glover said he is currently working through the contract phase of the CDBG portion and hopes to have contracts issued in June so work can begin on replacing the current tank.

The goal, according to Glover, is for work to begin in July with the new tank installed and in service before the end of the year.

“We sure need it,” Glover said.

In addition to Jennings, infrastructure funds were also awarded to Columbia County for expanding an existing water treatment plant, Greenville to conduct a feasibility study to determine suitability of existing buildings for a grocery store and RiverWay South Apalachicola Choctawhatchee o develop, promote and implement sound tourism and economic development strategies to improve the quality of life in the areas they serve. RiverWay South Apalachicola Choctawhatchee represents Calhoun, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson, Liberty, Walton and Washington counties.

“Infrastructure development and maintenance are critical for rural communities to become more resilient,” DeSantis said in a release announcing the $1.6 million of total funding for the projects. “We will continue to help these communities as they prepare for the future by utilizing every resource we have.”

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