Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Anne Hazlett recently announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $256 million in 81 projects (PDF, 233 KB) to improve water and wastewater infrastructure in rural areas in 35 states. Six projects in Iowa are receiving a total of $6.8 million in assistance.
“No matter what zip code you live in, infrastructure is a foundation for quality of life and economic opportunity,” Hazlett said. “Through strong partnerships, USDA is ensuring that rural communities have the modern, reliable infrastructure they need to prosper.”
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 funding in the 2018 Omnibus bill, President Trump has proposed a $200 billion infrastructure investment that allocates 25 percent ($50 billion) 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, stormwater drainage and waste disposal systems for rural communities with 10,000 or fewer residents.
Information about the Iowa projects includes:
The city of Quimby, population 319, (Cherokee County) is receiving a $19,000 loan to help drill a new water well to provide the city with a back-up source of water as recommended by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.
The city of Clemons, population 148, (Marshall County) is receiving a $75,000 grant and $176,000 loan to help improve their wastewater system by replacing a lift station, and installing fencing around the lagoon, and rip rap along the lagoon dike.
The city of Donnellson, population 885, (Lee County) is receiving a $670,000 loan to help connect to the Rathbun Regional Water Association as its main water source.
The city of Exira, population 796, (Audubon County) is receiving a $270,000 loan to help replace the water distribution system.
Iowa Lakes Regional Water is receiving a $871,000 grant and $1,180,000 loan to assist with adding 96 users to the system and add a new pipeline parallel to Highway 9 serving residents that currently have wells with poor water quality.
The city of Malvern, population 1,163, (Mills County) is receiving a $3,087,000 loan to assist with completing a capital improvement project that updates the city’s water system. Improvements include updating water well buildings, constructing a new ion exchange water treatment plant, rehabilitating elevated water tower storage facilities, adding mixing equipment to elevated towers and replacing 3,220 linear feet of a water distribution system.
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.
Contact USDA Rural Development
Information on programs available through USDA Rural Development is available by visiting www.rd.usda.gov/ia or by calling (515) 284-4663.
USDA Rural Development has 11 offices across the state to serve the 1.7 million Iowans living in rural communities and areas. Office locations include a State Office in Des Moines, along with Area Offices in Albia, Atlantic, Humboldt, Indianola, Iowa Falls, Le Mars, Mount Pleasant, Storm Lake, Tipton and Waverly.