BELTON — City officials have high hopes for the development of South Belton.

Already, Belton has spent more than $2 million to extend sewer service farther south. Sewer lines now stretch from Holland Road, follow Loop 121 and end near the corner of Capitol Way and Grove Road. And that was just the first phase.

A sewer, though, is just one piece to transform the hundreds of acres of prime land along Interstate 35. The next piece — a water line along the east side of the interstate — is set to begin next month.

The City Council this week unanimously approved an $878,787 contract with McLean Construction of Killeen to build the water line. The project will be funded by the Belton Economic Development Corp.

“This is a complementary project to our other project down south, and that’s the sewer project,” Public Works Director Angellia Points said. “With both water and sewer, we have some high hopes that we’re going to have some good development down in South Belton.”

McLean — which also constructed the first phase of the South Belton sewer — will place a 12-inch water line that runs for 9,700 feet along the east side of I-35 from Grove Road to between Shanklin Road and the Lampasas River. The lines will tie into an existing line west of the interstate.

“The water line currently exists on the west side of 35 down to the Lampasas River,” Points said. “There are two bores to essentially punch it through I-35 to potentially get service to the east side of 35 in the future — which is where we are today. This project will connect those two bores.”

Points expects the project to break ground in November.

“It’s a big job, but we think we will complete construction by summer of 2021,” she said.

The next phase of the South Belton sewer project is already designed and ready to go, but is currently on hold, Points said. The city is waiting to receive an easement from Oncor. Points expects Belton to get that piece soon.

The second phase will stretch from Grove Road south to near the Lampasas River, city spokesman Paul Romer said.

“The whole intent of these utility projects is to hopefully spur development in South Belton,” Points said. “Soon after we start construction on the water line, we’re hoping to start construction on the sewer line, too.”

Mayor pro tem Wayne Carpenter agreed with the public works director.

“I think this is going to be a great project for our future,” he said.