RALEIGH, N.C., Aug. 28, 2023 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack announced USDA is investing $44.5 million to help rural cooperatives and utilities build and improve water infrastructure, improving quality of life, for thousands of people in rural North Carolina today.
This funding will also help provide clean drinking water and sanitary wastewater systems in rural areas in North Carolina for years to come.
“USDA invests in rural America because we know strong communities are rooted in their people,” Secretary Vilsack said. “Powering people with modern infrastructure creates good-paying jobs and supports opportunities for people to build brighter futures. The investments we’re announcing today demonstrate the Biden-Harris Administration's commitment to ensuring that people who live and work in rural areas have every opportunity to succeed – and that they can find those opportunities right at home.”
The funding announced today advances President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, a key pillar of Bidenomics, to grow the American economy from the middle-out and bottom up – from rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure, to driving over $500 billion in private sector manufacturing and clean energy investments in the United States, to creating good-paying jobs and building a clean-energy economy that will combat climate change and make our communities more resilient.
USDA Rural Development State Development State Director Reginal Speight is excited about the opportunities today’s announcement will bring to Rural North Carolina.
“These investments support the local economy by making rural communities attractive, economically viable and safe places to live and work,” he said. “This helps create and save jobs by attracting and retaining employers and workers in the rural parts of our state.”
- Bell Arthur Water Cooperative will use a $2.7 million USDA Water and Waste Disposal Loan to provide funding assistance for a meter change out within their water system. The project will include replacement meters, placement of base stations strategically throughout the BAWC service area for signal conveyance from the meters and to upgrade to meter reading and billing software.
- In Lenoir County, the town of La Grange will use a $6.4 million USDA Water and Waste Disposal Loan and a $1.3 million USDA Water and Waste Disposal Grant to purchase water rights to ensure the town remains in compliance with withdrawal limits imposed for the Central Coastal Plain Capacity Use Area by the North Carolina Division of Water Resources.
- In Montgomery County the town of Star will use a $465 thousand USDA Water and Waste Disposal Loan and a $546 thousand USDA Water and Waste Disposal grant to provide funding assistance for a tank rehabilitation and meter replacement.
- Moore County will use a $1.9 million USDA Water and Waste Disposal Loan and $4.9 million Water and Waste Disposal Grant to construct Phase 2 town of Vass sewer extension project. The wastewater improvements will serve to protect the environment by preserving untreated wastewater overflows from failing septic systems in the project service area.
- Stanley County will use a $26 million USDA Water and Waste Disposal Loan to provide funding assistance for the expansion of the regional West Stanly Wastewater Treatment Facility to a permitted capacity of 2.5 million gallons per day in order to more efficiently serve the rural municipalities of the town of Red Cross, the city of Locust, the town of Oakboro, and the town of Stanfield.
Nationally, the announcement will benefit nearly 480,000 people in 36 states and two U.S. territories while building and strengthening rural infrastructure and creating good-paying jobs.
The 139 investments announced today will help people living in Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Florida, Iowa, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Puerto Rico and the Marshall Islands.
USDA is making the investments through the Electric Loan Program, Water and Waste Disposal Direct Loan and Grant Program, Water and Waste Disposal Loan Guarantees Program, Water and Waste Facility Loans and Grants to Alleviate Health Risks for Colonias Program, Solid Waste Management Grants Program, Community Facilities Program, Business and Industry Loan Guarantee Program and Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant Program.
Today’s announcement further advances the groundbreaking Biden-Harris Lead Pipe and Paint Action Plan with $78 million in new awards for lead pipe remediation. With up to 10 million American households connecting to water through lead pipes and service lines, the Administration is working aggressively to replace all lead service lines in America in the next decade. USDA is partnering with communities to address this challenge through its various programs.
Under the Biden-Harris Administration, Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities, create jobs and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural, tribal and high-poverty areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov.
USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. Under the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate-smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov.
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