Acting Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Joel Baxley today announced that USDA is investing $192 million in 71 projects in 29 states to improve rural water infrastructure.
“President Trump and U.S. Agriculture Secretary Perdue were very clear when they directed Rural Development to identify and meet rural water needs as a foundational pillar in improving rural infrastructure,” Baxley said. “Safe and reliable water infrastructure is critical to the health, safety, and economic vitality of rural America. Without access to safe water and functional wastewater treatment, sustainable growth in rural areas is not possible.”
USDA is making the $192 million investment through the Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant program. Rural communities, 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 some examples of the today’s investments in West Virginia:
- The Tyler County Public Service District is receiving a $700,000 loan and a $463,000 grant that will be used for various upgrades to the wastewater treatment plant. The project will provide improved service to 287 existing rural residences and businesses.
- In Randolph County, the Norton-Harding-Jimtown Public Service District is receiving a $700,000 loan and $250,000 grant to extend the gravity collection system and install pump stations along State Route 151, from Norton and surrounding areas in Randolph County. This extension will provide sewer service to 39 residential and four commercial customers.
USDA Rural Development West Virginia State Director Kris Warner said, “The investments announced today will support critical wastewater infrastructure improvements in Tyler and Randolph counties.” He went on to add, “Our agency is pleased to be involved in these projects that will increase the quality of life for the residents of rural West Virginia. For communities to thrive, they must have access to adequate infrastructure that will support growth opportunities.”
USDA is announcing investments today in Alabama, Arkansas, California, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin 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.