During a construction celebration ceremony in Randolph Wednesday, Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin and United States Rep. Peter Welch hailed a new $1.2 million United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) grant that closed the gap on a $9 million multi-year effort to upgrade its wastewater treatment plant. The upgrades will reduce nitrogen discharge into one of Vermont’s most scenic and iconic waterways, the White River.
"USDA has partnered with the town of Randolph and the taxpayers of Randolph to reduce the cost of a long-overdue upgrade of the town’s wastewater system," said USDA Rural Development State Director Ted Brady. "This project will create good-paying jobs here in Randolph, make the plant more energy efficient, and improve the water quality from the White River all the way to the Long Island Sound."
The current wastewater treatment facility was built over 40 years ago with a life expectancy of 20 years. Modern upgrades to the plant will reduce the plant’s energy consumption and improve the quality of water being discharged from the plant. Brady noted that the new plant will reduce the amount of nitrogen discharged into the White River to align with new state and federal regulations.
The new $1.2 million grant follows approximately $7.8 million of funding previously announced. With Wednesday’s announcement, USDA Rural Development has invested $3,844,000 in Water and Environmental Program (WEP) grant funding and $5,023,000 in WEP loans. The loans are made at extremely favorable loan rates and terms.
"I am very grateful for the support the USDA has shown toward Randolph’s efforts to upgrade its wastewater treatment facility," said Shumlin. "Not only will these funds enable this important project to be completed, it will help spur economic opportunity in the area, and is a significant step in continuing to ensure the environmental quality of the White River."
"I’m very pleased that the town of Randolph now has federal funds to complete this important wastewater infrastructure project. The completion of this project will enhance local economic development and help improve water quality," said Welch. "USDA-Rural Development has been a critical funding option for small Vermont towns facing major expenses to update their water treatment facilities."
Shumlin and Welch were joined by representatives of U.S. Sens. Patrick Leahy and Bernie Sanders, who praised USDA Rural Development’s partnership with the town of Randolph.
"This much-awaited groundbreaking signals another tremendous investment by USDA in a local Vermont community," said Senator Patrick Leahy in a prepared statement. "The benefits and jobs that this project will make possible are a tangible boost for ensuring a bright economic future and further quality of life improvements for Randolph and our state."
Randolph-based Dubois and King won the bid to design and engineer the new facility. T Buck Construction of Auburn, Maine has been contracted to build the new facility.
Randolph’s wastewater system has more than 700 connections. Since 2009, USDA Rural Development has funded water and wastewater projects servicing 66,955 rural residents living in 27,798 households across Vermont.
USDA Rural Development Water and Environmental Program (WEP) provides loans, grants and loan guarantees for drinking water, sanitary sewer, solid waste and storm drainage facilities run by rural area municipalities, non-profit organizations and recognized Indian tribes. The program also makes grants to nonprofit organizations to provide technical assistance and training to assist rural communities with their water, wastewater and solid waste problems.
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.
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 $201 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 (www.rurdev.usda.gov/nh-vtHome.html) or contact USDA RD at (802) 828-6000.