Acting Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Joel Baxley announced that USDA is investing $116 million to help rebuild and improve rural water infrastructure for 171,000 rural Americans in 23 states.
“Helping to bring modern water and wastewater infrastructure to rural communities will increase economic opportunities and improve the quality of life for rural residents,” Baxley said. “The investments USDA is announcing today are foundational to health, safety and economic development in rural communities across America.”
USDA is working with local partners to provide financing for 49 water and environmental infrastructure projects. The funding is being provided through the Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant program. It can be used for drinking water, stormwater drainage and waste disposal systems for rural communities with 10,000 or fewer residents.
Eligible communities and water districts can apply online on the interactive RD Apply tool or through one of USDA Rural Development’s state or field offices.
Below are some examples of the investments USDA is making:
- In Arkansas, Lake City will use a $2.3 million loan to modernize its wastewater treatment and collection system, which serves more than 2,000 residents. This project will improve the system’s capacity and reliability.
- Rensselaer, Ind., is receiving a $3.4 million loan and a $1.7 million grant to connect three unserved areas of the city to the sewer system and to replace the main lift station. The homes that will be connected are currently served by individual septic systems. This project will benefit nearly 6,000 residents.
- The city of Franklin, Idaho, is receiving a $900,000 loan and a $522,000 grant to increase the supply of water available to the Franklin Water System. The city’s water storage and spring boxes will be rehabilitated, and approximately two miles of pipe that connect the springs to the water system will be replaced. This project will also add two backup wells. It will provide more than 600 of the city’s residents and businesses with reliable water quantity and quality.
USDA is making investments in rural communities in: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, North Carolina, Nebraska, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Utah and Washington.
In April 2017, President Donald J. Trump established the Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity to identify legislative, regulatory and policy changes that could promote agriculture and prosperity in rural communities. In January 2018, Secretary Perdue presented the Task Force’s findings to President Trump. These findings included 31 recommendations to align the federal government with state, local and tribal governments to take advantage of opportunities that exist in rural America. Increasing investments in rural infrastructure is a key recommendation of the task force.
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