The U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development is investing $267 million in 103 infrastructure projects to upgrade water and wastewater systems in rural communities.
“Safe, modern and reliable water systems are critical for the health, safety and economic vitality of our rural communities,” said Louisiana Rural Development State Director Dr. Carrie Castille. “Strong infrastructure investment ensures that critical public services for residents, like safe drinking water, state-of-the-art equipment for emergency responders, broadband service, etc., are available to help ensure a better quality of life for rural communities throughout our state.”
USDA is making the investments in 35 states 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 rural communities with 10,000 or fewer residents.
In Louisiana, Walnut Bayou Water Association, Inc. is receiving a $3.48 million loan and $702,600 grant for additional funds to complete the construction of a booster station, two 225,500-gallon ground storage tanks, and upgrades to water distribution lines to provide water to serve 3,39l residents in Madison Parish. Funds will also be used to construct an office building to meet accessibility standards.
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.
Rural community leaders can apply for these funds electronically by using the interactive RD Apply tool. They can also contact the Community Programs Director, email@example.com or call (318) 473-7940.
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.