The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced Monday it has awarded two Vermont municipal utilities $37,500 in federal grants to address problems with drinking water quality and wastewater infrastructure in Sutton and Lunenburg.
"Clean drinking water and functioning wastewater systems can help rural communities serve their residents and attract economic development," said USDA Rural Development Vermont and New Hampshire State Director Ted Brady. "These grants will identify the steps necessary to move forward with critical water and wastewater improvements in Sutton and Lunenburg."
Sutton will use a $25,500 grant to determine a cost effective solution to reduce nitrate levels that are making the town’s water source non-potable. The State of Vermont has determined nitrate levels in the town’s drinking water to be threatening to the health of infants and pregnant women.
Lunenburg Fire District No. 2 will use a $12,000 grant to look into how to best replace an unreliable wastewater pump station and unreliable sewer main posing as threats to waterway contamination.
The two grants, made through USDA Rural Development’s Special Evaluation Assistance for Rural Communities and Households (SEARCH) Program, are designed to provide financially distressed communities assistance with feasibility studies, design assistance and technical assistance associated with water and wastewater infrastructure needs.
President Obama’s plan for rural America has brought about historic investment and resulted in stronger rural communities. Under the President’s 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’s investments in rural communities support the rural way of life that stands as the backbone of our American values.
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.