USDA Invests in Kentucky Water Infrastructure

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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 $267 million in 103 infrastructure projects to upgrade water and wastewater systems in rural communities. Four investments are in Kentucky, and funding is still available for rural communities in the state.

“Loan and grant money is still available for water infrastructure, which is critical to the growth of rural communities,” said Hilda Legg, USDA Rural Development Kentucky State Director. “Strong partnerships with our local leaders will allow us to develop innovative strategies to fund these water systems that provide clean drinking water to communities across Kentucky.”

USDA is making investments in 35 states through the 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 Wayne County, an investment in the City of Monticello will be used to replace/upgrade existing, deteriorating, undersized sewer lines and install new sewer lines to serve households currently relying on failing individual sewage disposal systems.

An investment in Augusta will be used to construct a new regional wastewater treatment plant and install additional system enhancements to serve the cities of Augusta and Brooksville, as well as the Bracken County Nursing and Rehabilitation Center located in Chatham. This new plant will replace separate wastewater treatment systems that are well past their useful lives and are obsolete. The project will provide a safe and dependable means of waste disposal and treatment for approximately 855 existing and 73 new customers in the cites of Augusta and Brooksville and some areas of Bracken County between the two communities.

An investment in The City of Central City will be used to renovate the City's water system to include refurbishing and painting an existing tank, installing mixing systems in older tanks, and performing various improvements to the water treatment plant to provide a safe and dependable water supply for approximately 2,117 existing customers in rural Muhlenberg County.

The Greater Fleming County Regional Water Commission investment will be used to drill a new water well to replace an existing well that was no longer producing quality water and was taken out of service. The new well will provide the system with a backup source of water that is sufficient in both quality and quantity to meet the demands on the system. Greater Fleming County Water commission provides water to four (4) customers: Fleming County Water Association, City of Flemingsburg, Western Fleming Water District, and Western Lewis Rectorville Water District,

In FY 2018, Congress provided a historic level of funding for water and wastewater infrastructure. The 2018 Omnibus spending bill includes $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 apply through one of USDA Rural Development’s state or field offices.

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: 07/16/2018