USDA Rural Development State Director for Vermont & New Hampshire Anthony Linardos today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $3.4 million in two infrastructure projects to upgrade water and wastewater systems in rural communities Vermont & New Hampshire.
Linardos’s announcement is in coordination with Assistant Secretary for Rural Development Anne Hazlett’s announcement today that USDA is investing $267 million for 103 infrastructure projects in 35 states through the Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant. The funds can be used to finance drinking water, storm water drainage and waste disposal systems for rural communities with 10,000 or fewer residents.
“Robust, modern infrastructure is essential for a high quality of life and economic opportunities – no matter what zip code you live in,” Hazlett said. “Under Secretary Perdue’s leadership, USDA is committed to being a strong partner in addressing rural infrastructure needs to support a more prosperous future in rural communities.”
Below are some examples of USDA’s water infrastructure partnerships in Vermont & New Hampshire:
The Village of Saxtons River, Vermont, will receive a $150,000 loan to upgrade the wastewater treatment facility. The facility, originally constructed in 1972, has aging components that do not meet state standards as well as high operational costs resulting from essential repairs. The building of this new treatment process is a large infrastructure investment for a small community of 565 residents. This additional loan is needed for the increased project cost after bids.
The Town of Winchester, New Hampshire, will receive $3.3 million in loan & grant assistance to address inadequate water distribution system pressures and lack of available water storage in the town. This will alleviate town health and sanitary issues. The town has taken steps over the past 10 years to improve the integrity of the aging water system which struggles with numerous distribution system deficiencies including inadequate pressures, pipe breaks, leaks, and inadequate storage. The deficiencies will be addressed by replacing pipe and large meters, new storage tank and booster pump system. The water system serves a year-round population of approximately 2,800 customers through 1,121 service connections.
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 $1.2 billion in FY 2017. It also directs Agriculture Secretary Perdue to make investments in rural communities with the greatest infrastructure needs.
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.