Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Anne Hazlett today announced that USDA is investing $1.2 billion to help rebuild and improve rural water infrastructure for 936,000 rural Americans living in 46 states.
“Access to water is a key driver for economic opportunity and quality of life in rural communities,” Hazlett said. “Under the leadership of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, USDA is committed to being a strong partner to rural communities in building prosperity through modern water infrastructure.”
“Our infrastructure is aging in Vermont,” Vermont USDA Rural Development state director Anthony Linardos said. “We need to be investing water systems across our state to accommodate current and future capacity. These types of infrastructure improvements are essential for community development, and are the foundation for enhancing the quality of life and prosperity in rural Vermont.”
USDA is providing financing for 234 water and environmental infrastructure projects through the Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant program. The funding can be used for drinking water, stormwater drainage and waste disposal systems for rural communities with 10,000 or fewer residents.
Eligible communities and water districts can apply online on the interactive RD Apply tool, or they can apply through one of USDA Rural Development’s state or field offices.
Below is the investment USDA is making in Vermont:
• In Royalton, VT the Royalton Fire District No. 1 is receiving a $161,000 loan and $109,000 grant to repair the Lake John Dam to return it to safe operation and comply with state standards. Lake John is the town's principal water source. The Fire District received a Rural Development Special Evaluation Assistance for Rural Communities and Households (SEARCH) grant in 2016 to determine damage and engineering needs. This funding will use the results of the SEARCH grant preliminary engineering report to reconstruct the dam, replace the spillway pipe, add storm water improvements, purchase a new, pre-cast overflow storage tank, and install a new raw water transmission main. This project will provide the 174 users with a safe and reliable water source.
USDA is making investments in rural communities in: Alaska, Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin and West Virginia.
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.