Central Hawke's Bay will receive $2 million of Government Covid-19 recovery funding targeting hard-hit communities.
But there could be much more in the pipeline for a new water supply in Waipukurau and other water work in the district.
The $2 million came as part of Friday's announcement that $36.72 million of Provincial Growth Fund support will be redistributed to projects in regions hit hard economically by COVID-19, including $15.24 million for projects in Hawke's Bay.
But the CHB council last week also received "official notification" that a second water supply for Waipukurau and wastewater treatment plant proposals expected to cost a total of $79.2 million have been shortlisted.
Chief executive Monique Davidson said: "Although there is no guarantee that these projects will go on to receive the funding we've requested, I am delighted that they have been shortlisted for consideration."
The now-secured $2 million is for a work programme which includes vegetation management in roading corridors and on public assets such as parks and reserves.
"The twin blows of Covid-19 and the drought have hit our district hard and many of our people are feeling financial strain," said Davidson.
"An additional $2 million in the budget gives council the capacity to offer significant employment to our locals, by redeploying those who have been impacted by Covid-19 into alternative employment through the second half of 2020," she said.
The council will work with its contracting partners to incorporate a social procurement approach to ensure that the project prioritises the employment of local workers displaced by the economic crisis, and it is expected a minimum of 15 jobs will be created in CHB through the programme.
"Economic relief is required now. Timing is absolutely critical and planning has commenced immediately, with the programme of work due to start within two months," Davidson said.
Mayor Alex Walker said: "Two-million dollars will go a long way in supporting Central Hawke's Bay as we recover socially and economically and we will continue to seek opportunities of this nature."
The council has also worked with local government counterparts to pull together a list of "shovel-ready" capital projects as part of a regional economic stimulus package to the Crown's infrastructure partners.
It focused on Three Waters infrastructure, with an application for projects including the Waipukurau water supply Wastewater Treatment Plant improvements.