U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Deputy Under Secretary of Rural Development Donald “DJ” LaVoy has announced that USDA is investing $144 million to improve rural water infrastructure in 25 states.
“Modern and reliable water and wastewater infrastructure systems are foundational to economic growth and quality of life in rural communities,” LaVoy said. “Under the leadership of President Trump and Agriculture Secretary Perdue, USDA is committed to investing in this critical infrastructure, because when rural America thrives, all of America thrives.”
USDA Rural Development State Director Timothy P. Hobbs said, “This investment of over $14 million in water and wastewater infrastructure speaks to USDA Rural Development’s commitment to improving the quality of life in Maine’s rural communities. I am pleased the agency could assist the Town of Camden and Paris Utility District with these critical upgrades.”
The Town of Camden has been selected to receive a total of $13,900,000 (Water and Wastewater Disposal Direct Loan of $12,500,000 and Grant of $1,400,000). This Rural Development investment will be used to upgrade Camden's wastewater treatment facility and rehabilitate three pump stations.
The sewer department provides safe and reliable sanitary wastewater services for the residents of Camden and a small portion of Rockport. The system's original equipment and the overall facility are aged. The improvements will address the aging infrastructure and capacity issues, and restore the design capacity of the facility at a reasonable cost These upgrades represent the highest priorities identified in the town's master plan and will benefit to the wastewater system, which serves 2,235 users.
The Paris Utility District will receive a total of $410,000 (Water and Waste Direct Loans in the amount of $221,000 and $189,000). This Rural Development investment will be used to replace an eight-inch, 100 year-old, cast-iron water main in South Paris in conjunction with a Maine Department of Transportation project. The water main was beyond its useful life and needed to be replaced to provide reliable water service along the Billings Bridge.
Repairs will also be made to the sewer lines. The replacement of the 46 year-old 12-inch gravity asbestos cement sewer pipe will provide for more reliable wastewater service to the 1,216 users on the system.
USDA is investing in 45 projects through the Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant program. Eligible applicants include rural cities and towns, and water districts. They can use the funds for drinking water, stormwater drainage and waste disposal systems in rural communities with 10,000 or fewer residents.
USDA is announcing investments today in Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington and West Virginia.
USDA had $2.9 billion available for Water and Environmental Program loans and grants at the beginning of fiscal year 2019. USDA will make additional funding announcements in coming weeks.
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 facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov.