State Director for Rural Development Edd Hargett today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing over $2 million to improve rural water infrastructure in Texas.
“USDA understands that the Water and Waste Disposal program is a vital funding source for our rural communities,” Hargett said. “The investments announced today demonstrate our commitment to improving essential water and wastewater services that will enhance the prosperity of rural Texans.”
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.
- The city of Coleman is receiving a $1,600,000 loan to complete a microfiltration water treatment plant. The new plant will be located adjacent to the existing city of Coleman water treatment plant. The new plant will provide water service to city residents and wholesale customers and comply with regulatory requirements. The city of Coleman has a population of 4,709. Previous funding includes an $8 million Rural Development loan.
- The city of Lone Star is receiving a $533,000 loan to provide additional financing for improvements to the water and wastewater systems. This project also includes the installation of fire hydrants to address deficiencies in fire protection coverage. In addition, the improvements will include replacing the two high-service pumps at the city's high-service pump station. Proposed improvements to the wastewater system include rehabilitating lift stations 1 and 7 and/or replacing lift stations 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 and installing an emergency standby generator at lift station 2. The city of Lone Star has a population of 1,581. Previous funding includes a $3,091,000 Rural Development loan and grant combination.
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.