Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Anne Hazlett today announced that USDA is investing more than $124 million to help rebuild and improve rural water and wastewater infrastructure in 23 states. Four projects in Missouri are receiving funding.
“Dependable access to safe, clean water as well as wastewater collection and treatment services is vital across every city in America,” said Jeff Case, USDA Rural Development State Director for Missouri. “The four projects in today’s announcement will improve the access and infrastructure for these systems to over 2,200 rural Missourians. I commend the leaders of Cassville, Forest City, Parnell, and Ewing for making infrastructure improvements a priority for their residents. USDA Rural Development is proud to partner with each of these communities.”
USDA is providing the funding through the Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant program. It can be used to finance drinking water, stormwater drainage and waste disposal systems for rural communities with 10,000 or fewer residents.
Case announced that the following projects in Missouri will receive USDA funding:
- The City of Cassville will receive a $3.936 million loan and a $1.684 million grant to make improvements to the city’s water distribution system. The project will replace 63,083 feet of mains, install new valves and controls and ultimately reduce water loss and improve low pressures in the system. This project is the first step in the city's long-term efforts to reduce water loss, improve low pressures, and provide a safe and potable water system for the system's 1,312 customers.
- The City of Forest City will use a $830,000 loan and a $1,091,440 grant to make improvements to the city's water system to provide a safe and dependable system for the city’s 268 residents. Improvements include waterline, valve and water meter replacements, as well as the construction of a 50,000-gallon elevated water storage tank.
- The City of Parnell will receive a $455,000 loan and a $986,000 grant for improvements to the city’s water system. Improvements include water line replacements, construction of a 40,000-gallon elevated water storage tank and a water operations building. These improvements will provide a safe and dependable water system for Parnell's 191 residents.
- The City of Ewing, population 456, will use a $267,000 loan to update the city’s wastewater treatment facility. A no-discharge irrigation system will be installed to ensure the facility is in compliance with current regulations.
“Modern, reliable water infrastructure provides a foundation for economic growth and prosperity,” Hazlett said. “USDA’s partnerships with rural communities underscore Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue’s commitment to ensuring that rural places have the infrastructure needed to thrive.”
The funding that USDA is announcing today will benefit communities in Arkansas, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Vermont and West Virginia.
In FY 2018, Congress provided a historic level of funding for water and wastewater infrastructure. The 2018 Omnibus spending bill includes $5.2 billion for USDA loans and grants, up from $1.8 billion in FY 2017. The bill also directs Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue to make investments in rural communities with the greatest infrastructure needs.
Eligible rural communities and water districts can apply online for funding to maintain, modernize or build water and wastewater systems. They can visit the interactive RD Apply tool, or they can apply through one of Missouri’s USDA Rural Development Water and Wastewater Program Area Specialists.
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.
To view the report in its entirety, please view the Report to the President of the United States from the Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity (PDF, 5.4 MB). In addition, to view the categories of the recommendations, please view the Rural Prosperity infographic (PDF, 190 KB).
USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community services such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov/mo.