Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Anne Hazlett announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $265 million in 81 projects to improve water and wastewater infrastructure in rural areas in 35 states.
“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.”
Kansas projects receiving funding includes:
- The city of Atlanta, Kan., received a $514,000 grant and $263,000 loan to construct a 50,000-gallon elevated water storage tank and a chlorination booster station, as well as install or replace more than 1,200 linear feet of service line and add a telemetry system and an automatic meter reading system. These upgrades will provide the community with a safe and reliable source of water by addressing deficiencies of the existing system, including high levels of water loss, inadequate chlorine levels, and the poor condition of the aged water tower. The population served by the project is 195.
- The city of Auburn, Kan., received an $851,000 loan to rehabilitate the city's sewer infrastructure. The project will rehabilitate two pump stations, add a backup generator, and rehabilitate approximately 7,277 feet of sewer collection pipe. It will also repair eight major points, add 40 new manholes, and repair five manholes. These items will improve a system that is aging and deteriorating, with holes in the city's vitrified clay pipe (VCP) that are due to breakage, collapses, root infiltration and cracking. The population to be served by this project is 1,227.
- The city of Herington, Kan., received a $3.191 million loan to build a water treatment facility and electrical building. The city's municipal water and electric facility was constructed in the late 1920s and is unsafe to continue operating. The new water treatment facility will include: new filter basin, halo-methane reductions, pump room relocation, computer system upgrades, solids contact basin roof enclosure, new office areas, site paving improvements, silo removal, backwash sediment basin, a perimeter security fence, generator, and electrical system building. The population to be served by this project is 2,526.
- The city of Kanopolis, Kan., received a $1.558 million loan to improve the water infrastructure in the city. The city's water distribution system was installed in 1914, and the aging waterlines have caused an increase in leaks and water loss. The project includes replacing a large portion of the city's water distribution system, 42 valves, 22 fire hydrants, and 270 meter service assemblies. A new ground water supply well with an enclosed block building equipped with chlorination equipment and generator will also be constructed. The population served by this project is 492.
- The city of Pomona, Kan., received a $2.985 million loan to make improvements to the wastewater treatment and collection system. The city needs to replace its vitrified clay pipe sewer collection system, originally installed in the 1960s, to eliminate health and environmental issues, inflow and infiltration, and keep operational costs low. The city will rehabilitate approximately 43,900 feet of sewer collection line, 110 service tap connections, and 1,270 vertical feet of brick manholes. Additionally, three cells of the lagoon treatment facility will be de-sludged. The population to be served by this project is 832.
The 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 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.
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.
For more information on USDA Rural Development programs available in Kansas, visit www.rd.usda.gov/ks, or by calling (785) 271-2700.