USDA Invests $256 Million in Water Infrastructure in Rural Communities

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Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Anne Hazlett today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $256 million in 81 projects to improve water and wastewater infrastructure in rural areas in 35 states.

   “These investments underscore USDA’s commitment to improving rural infrastructure,” Hazlett said. “Through a strong partnership with rural America, USDA is ensuring that rural residents and businesses have the modern, reliable infrastructure services they need to support the quality of life in rural America.”

   During her keynote address at the state’s Arkansas Rural Development conference, Hazlett spoke about USDA’s longstanding partnership with state and local officials to improve the quality of life in rural communities. She met with various representatives on issues important to rural Arkansas residents and businesses, such as ways USDA is partnering with local communities to support opioid treatment, prevention and recovery services. She also highlighted USDA efforts to support e-Connectivity in the state.

   Indiana is receiving three of the 81 rural water and wastewater infrastructure projects Hazlett announced during the conference.  Gibson Water, Inc., Romney Regional Sewer District, and the Town of Troy have been awarded USDA loans. 

   “Strong infrastructure is critical to keeping Indiana’s communities thriving, and USDA is proud to help improve the livelihood of our towns by providing access to reliable water and wastewater systems,” said Michael Dora, USDA Rural Development Indiana State Director.  “Projects like these are critical to the economy, health, and future of our rural areas, and today many Hoosier residents now have improved water and wastewater services.”

Indiana projects:

Recipient

Loan Amount

Project Description

Gibson Water, Inc.

(Gibson County)

$2,445,100

This Rural Development investment will be used to complete improvements to reinforce the distribution system and ensure the system can meet the future demands.  The project consists of five different system reinforcement improvements. Gibson Water, Inc. is a non-profit water corporation serving parts of Gibson County, including the Town of Haubstadt.

Romney Regional Sewer District

(Tippecanoe County)

$224,000

This Rural Development investment will be used to provide additional funds for the construction of a collection system and treatment plant. There currently are many homes that have no septic systems.  Others rely on sewage disposal through a combination of old septic systems, tiles, and a 5,000-gallon vault-type tank collecting and disposing sewage to local waterways: Kellerman-Leaming Ditch and Wea Creek.  This project will assist a population of 384 in Tippecanoe County.

Town of Troy

(Perry County)

$2,104,000

This Rural Development investment will be used to construct a water treatment plant and to install a raw water filtration system. The treatment plant will be installed on the raw water main between the well field and the town. Troy's water supply has a high manganese level, which is creating a health and sanitary issue. The updated plant will help to reduce or eliminate manganese in the Town's water supply.

   The recently enacted Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 Omnibus spending bill includes a significant boost in financial support for water and wastewater projects. It provides $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 addition to the 2018 bill, President Trump has proposed a $200 billion infrastructure plan. Twenty-five percent of new federal money ($50 billion of $200 billion) would be allocated to rural projects.

   The loans and grants Hazlett announced today are being awarded through USDA’s Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant program. The funds can be used to finance drinking water, storm water drainage and waste disposal systems for households and businesses in communities with 10,000 or fewer residents.

      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.

Last Modified: 05/25/2018