Today, the City of Myrtle Point in rural southwestern Oregon celebrated Earth Day with city officials and partners as the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development announced the award of over $3.9 million to help the city protect and preserve water quality for future generations.
The celebration featured a groundbreaking ceremony for the new Myrtle Point wastewater treatment plant and the announcement of significant USDA funding to complete construction. This project will improve water quality in the South Fork Coquille River and for the local community while also allowing the city to meet its growing needs.
“This event was a chance to celebrate environmentally friendly growth and development in rural areas,” said USDA Rural Development State Director Vicki Walker. “Every day, small communities face the challenges of maintaining and upgrading their infrastructure. Ensuring adequate utilities and other services is absolutely critical for a town to be able to grow, keep its residents safe and healthy, add new businesses, and develop its economy. A project like this can help a small, rural community thrive into the future.”
The Myrtle Point wastewater treatment plant was constructed in 1953, and it is still in use today. However, it can no longer meet the demands of this rural community’s growing population, nor sustain the area’s water quality. In 2011, through its Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant Program, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development provided the City of Myrtle Point with a loan of $7.8 million and a grant of $1.8 million for the construction of new headworks with screening and bypass channels and a new wastewater treatment facility consisting of an activated sludge treatment plant, ultraviolet disinfection system, new control building, and new river outfall and diffuser. To date, the city has removed wood debris from the project site, imported structural fill, constructed a new sewer interceptor consisting of a 1,300-foot, 24-inch diameter gravity sewer pipe, and constructed a new river outfall diffuser pipe. Today, USDA announced additional funding through a $2.8 million loan and a $1.1 million grant to supplement the funds remaining under the initial award and ensure the successful completion of this vital project.
USDA Rural Development delivers more than 40 programs that help rural communities, businesses, and residents develop infrastructure, improve housing availability, expand renewable energy and local foods, and create jobs through a variety of economic development activities.
President Obama’s historic investments in rural America have made our rural communities stronger. Under his 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.