The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced Thursday that it will provide a $20,000 grant to the Town of Northumberland to assist with planning needed improvements to the aging Groveton water and wastewater systems. The town accessed the funding through USDA Rural Development’s (RD) Special Evaluation Assistance for Rural Communities and Households (SEARCH) Grant Program.
“Efficient and up-to-date water and wastewater infrastructure is critical to the economic vitality of rural communities, and we commend the Town of Northumberland for undertaking the steps to move forward on improving their utility systems,” said USDA RD Vermont and New Hampshire State Director Ted Brady. “We are hopeful that this grant will lead to a construction project financed with RD’s Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant Program.”
The Groveton water system distributes to the Village of Groveton, Northumberland and Guildhall, VT. The existing water mains are corroded and experience pressure problems in many areas. The wastewater system has significant infiltration and inflow and most of the original piping is in disrepair. The engineering study, to be conducted by CMA Engineers of Portsmouth, will identify and prioritize needed improvements for Northumberland to move forward with an improvement project. The RD funding is in addition to a $12,000 State of New Hampshire Community Development Block Grant.
“Because the Town is in the preliminary stages of re-development following the closing of the Wausau paper mill, USDA’s award of the SEARCH grant is fundamental to addressing capital investment in core utilities that service our residents as well as accommodate new enterprises,” said Northumberland Selectman James Tierney, Jr. “The proposed evaluation will allow us to determine which sections are in good condition or disrepair, assisting the town with prioritization of pivotal infrastructure projects.”
President Obama’s plan for rural America has brought about historic investment and resulted in stronger rural communities. Under the President’s leadership, these investments in housing, community facilities, businesses and infrastructure have empowered rural America to continue leading the way – strengthening America’s economy, small towns and rural communities. USDA’s investments in rural communities support the rural way of life that stands as the backbone of our American values.
USDA, through its RD mission area, administers and manages housing, business and community infrastructure programs through a national network of state and local offices. Rural Development has an active portfolio of more than $197 billion in loans and loan guarantees. These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural areas. For more information on Rural Development, visit the Vermont/New Hampshire Rural Development website.