GRAND RIDGE, Fla. (WMBB) — Grand Ridge officials said their sewage and water systems have been in need of a serious upgrade.

With help from the state, they can finally afford to make these improvements.

“A place our size, less than 1,000 customers, there’s no way we could have made over $8.5 million improvements to our infrastructure,” City Councilwoman Kimberly Applewhite said. “So we sure appreciate the state of Florida and Ron DeSantis for looking after the places affected by Hurricane Michael.”

Applewhite said the $7.5 million in Community Development Block Grants would cover town-wide sanitary sewer rehabilitation and upgrades.

That will include installing 19 bypass pumps, emergency electrical generators and more.

“The employees after Hurricane Michael were working 24 hours a day around the clock making sure the lift stations were up. We didn’t have power for a while,” Applewhite said. “They still had to make sure the lift stations worked. We didn’t have emergency generators like this pot of money will provide that.”

Public Works Supervisor Kevin Applewhite said this upgrade would help them immensely.

“It’s going to help us in the long run about just updating our facilities, keeping our employees and customers happy with everything, and just upgrading our system to where it’ll just work more efficiently,” he said.

A second grant asked for an estimated $1 million will go towards town-wide potable water well upgrades.

“It’s not going to be a new park build or a new city hall that’s going to be evident on the outside, to the citizens,” Applewhite said. “But of course, they use their water, they use their sewer, and so we need to make these improvements so we can make sure they have sanitary water and that their sewer system’s working.”

Town officials have sent in the Community Development Block Grant applications.

They said they’re hoping to get those back signed then will get started with the projects as soon as possible.