USDA Rural Development West Virginia State Director joined with local officials and residents today at the Gauley River Public Service District (PSD) office to honor long-serving board members and staff and to celebrate funding for the PSD’s Summersville Phase III Water Line Extension Project. The Gauley River Public Service District is the recipient of loan and grant funds from USDA Rural Development totaling $2,187,000 to support the construction of this important project.
The Gauley River Public Service District owns and operates an existing water distribution system that serves approximately 1,400 households, businesses, and schools within Nicholas, Fayette and Clay counties. This Phase III water extension project will provide an additional 58 customers with public water service from the Zela area to the intersection of Route 39 and Route 19/21.
The areas within the project are not currently served by a public water system and fire service has not been available. The households in the area are served by inadequate individual water systems consisting of wells or cisterns. The wells generally have levels of iron and magnesium above the acceptable parameters of the WV Bureau for Public Health. Many of the residents in this area have been hauling water in from an outside source.
USDA Rural Development State Director Bobby Lewis said, “We are very excited to be a part of this very important project for this three-county region. Access to safe drinking water is vital to the livability of rural communities and a critical component of economic development.” He went on to say, “Today, we celebrate not only this funding award, but also the hard work and determination of everyone associated with the Gauley River Public Service District, the Fayette, Nicholas and Clay County Commissions and the residents of these communities.”
Mr. Lewis also presented certificates for dedicated and loyal service to long-standing board members Russell “Red” Deering, Mary Sue Gray and Ted Elliott who have served on the PSD board for 34 years, 36 years and 16 years respectively. General Manager Juanita Phillips was also recognized for her 18 years of service to the PSD.
Mr. Lewis went on to add, “In Fiscal Year 2014, USDA Rural Development invested more than $331 million to improve housing conditions, build and improve infrastructure and create and retain jobs in rural communities across West Virginia. It’s projects like this one that brings our agency one step closer to our goal of improving the quality of life for rural residents across the State.”
USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, has an active portfolio of more than $172 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 America.
Further information on USDA Rural Development may be obtained by visiting USDA’s web site at http://www.rurdev.usda.gov. In West Virginia, call 1-800-295-8228 to be put in touch with the appropriate personnel serving your county. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact USDA’s TARGET Center at 202.720.2600 (voice and TDD).