U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Donald “DJ” LaVoy today announced that USDA is investing $201 million to improve rural water infrastructure in 31 states.
“Modern, reliable and accessible infrastructure is critical to economic development and quality of life,” LaVoy said. “Under the leadership of President Trump and Agriculture Secretary Perdue, USDA is committed to partnering with rural communities to help them improve their infrastructure, because when rural America thrives, all of America thrives.”
“Access to safe and reliable water and waste systems are essential to maintain economic opportunity and quality of life in small towns that are so vital to our state’s economy,” Clare Carlson, USDA Rural Development North Dakota State Director said. “These investments in New England, New Salem and Hatton will have a long-term, positive impact on the rural residents living in these cities.”
A $1.3 million loan combined with a $478,147 grant will be used to complete water and sewer system improvements for the city of New England, in Hettinger County, N.D. This project will be the last of four phases to replace deteriorated water and sewer mains throughout the city. The existing water and sewer mains are nearly 70 years-old and are experiencing breaks, collapses and other costly, and health-concerning maintenance issues. Upon completion of this project, the city will have a health and safety compliant water and sewer infrastructure.
In New Salem, a $1 million loan will be combined with an $803,000 grant to replace the city’s aged, cast-iron main and sanitary sewer pipe infrastructure installed in the 1940's. Partner funding in this project will also help complete replacement of the city streets once the underground pipes have been replaced. This project will help to ensure the residents of the city have a sustainable water and sewer system for years to come.
An $882,000 loan combined with a $403,185 grant will be used to replace the water main line with a new pipe and replace water services in those respective city blocks in Hatton, N.D. The city has a population of 777 and there are 345 users on the water system. The city currently has approximately eight blocks of older water main in use. It is believed there have been five breaks within the water main line. Due to the high water table that exists within the city, the water main is nearing its usable life.
USDA is providing the funding through the Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant program. Eligible applicants include rural cities, towns and water districts. The funds can be used 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, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
USDA awarded nearly $1.8 billion for Water and Environmental Program loans and grants during fiscal year 2019. View the interactive RD Apply tool or contact one of USDA Rural Development’s state or field offices for application or eligibility information.
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 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.