HANNIBAL, Mo. — Ralls County Public Water Supply District No. 1 has been awarded more than $2 million in federal funding to make improvements to its infrastructure, including pipe repairs and a new water tower.

U.S. Department of Agriculture officials were slated to present water district officials with a mock check for $2.135 million Thursday, but plans are already in place for the funding, which the district will use to repair old line pipe and construct a 250,000-gallon water tower, said USDA Rural Development area technician Glenda Shafer.

John Rogers, general manager for the water district, said the project will start within 180 days, in accordance with rules for the funding.

“The district has great appreciation for bringing those funds to this district to improve infrastructure,” Rogers said.

Leann Gleason, area specialist for USDA Rural Development, said the agency has worked with Ralls County on water and sewer improvement projects for nearly 40 years. She praised the district’s proactive approach to making improvements.

“They don’t wait till something is broken to fix it,” Gleason said. “They do a very, very good job of … staying right on top of things to make sure that water loss is minimized and water storage is maximized so that water storage is available to their customers as their water district continues to grow. They’ve always been very good about that.”

The water district serves about 2,600 rural customers in Ralls and Marion counties. Gleason said the district’s work with the USDA, which offers low-interest loans to rural utilities, yields deep savings that it can pass on to those customers.

“It keeps the affordability rate low for their customers,” Gleason said.

A time frame for completion of the improvements was not immediately known.