U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Utilities Service Administrator Chad Rupe recently announced that USDA is investing $135 million in 49 projects to improve rural water infrastructure in 24 states.
“Under the leadership of President Trump and Agriculture Secretary Perdue, USDA continues to partner with rural communities to address their current and long-term water needs,” Rupe said. “Modernizing water infrastructure will yield key health benefits and help spur economic growth – making rural places even more attractive to live and work.”
USDA is making the investments through the Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant program. Rural cities and towns, water districts and other eligible entities can use the funds for drinking water, stormwater drainage and waste disposal systems in rural communities with 10,000 or fewer residents.
Below are examples of projects announced that show how USDA is partnering to improve rural water and wastewater infrastructure in rural West Virginia.
The Doddridge County Public Service District is receiving a $475,000 loan and a $2,600,000 grant that will be used to provide quality and dependable water and fire protection services to 118 residences in the Pine Magisterial District.The majority of the area’s residents currently utilize wells, springs, and cisterns as their source for drinking water.The project includes 55,750 linear feet of eight inch and smaller diameter water lines, one storage tank, one booster pump station, 94 water meters and related appurtenances.
- The Hardy County Public Service District is receiving a $2,073,000 loan and $955,000 grant to extend water service to 38 new customers and upgrade the Baker Water Treatment Plant. Nearly 22,550 linear feet of water line, 38 meter settings and other appurtenances will be installed. Water lines on Trough Road and Trout Run Cutoff will be upgraded to improve the plant’s overall efficiency.
USDA Rural Development West Virginia State Director Kris Warner said, “The investments we’re announcing will enable critical infrastructure improvements in Doddridge and Hardy counties.” He went on to add, “USDA Rural Development is pleased to be involved in these projects that will increase the quality of life for our residents of rural West Virginia. For our communities to thrive, we must have access to infrastructure such as water, wastewater, and broadband that will energize opportunities for growth.”
USDA is announcing investments in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, New Mexico, New York, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington and West Virginia.
Congress appropriated $2.9 billion for USDA Water and Environmental Program loans and grants in fiscal year 2019. USDA will make additional funding announcements in coming weeks.
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.