Acting Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Joel Baxley today announced that USDA is investing $192 million in 71 projects located across 29 states to improve rural water infrastructure.
“President Trump and 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. Three of these investments are in North Dakota.
“There are many benefits of investing in water infrastructure in Medina, LaMoure and Beach,” Clare Carlson, USDA Rural Development North Dakota state director said. “Access to clean water is vital to quality of life and economic growth throughout the state, and I am proud we were able to partner with the Army Corps of Engineers and Roosevelt Custer Regional Council for Development to help fund these projects.”
One of the North Dakota investments announced today will be used to make water and sewer improvements for the city of Medina. The project will replace water mains in certain locations throughout the city. Fire hydrants, gate valves and water services also will be replaced. Sewer improvements include the re-lining of sewer mains and replacing the sewer services. Manholes will be rehabilitated or replaced, depending on their condition. This project will ensure that the town has a healthy infrastructure system, which is important to the well-being of the city and its residents. Additional funding includes a $3,465,000 United States Army Corps of Engineers grant.
Another Rural Development investment will help improve water services in the city of LaMoure. The project will remove the 50,000-gallon tower and install a 300,000-gallon concrete at-grade tank at a different location in the northeast section of the city. The location was chosen due to both the additional elevation of the site and the proximity to the Southeast Water Users (SEWU) water line that provides water to the city. From the new location, the tank would feed the city's water system by piping it into town and connecting at the existing SEWU connection point as well as an existing dead-end line in the northeast part of the city. As part of the plan, the city would take the pump house and 120,000-gallon tank offline. Deficiencies within one of the structures and an overall lack of sufficient water storage have caused the city to seek financing assistance.
A third investment will be used to help finance a sewer improvement project that services Beach, N.D. The gravity sewer line collects all wastewater throughout the city and connects to the lagoon system. Prior to the sewer main getting to the lagoon system, the city operates a lift station to pump the sewer into the lagoons. This sewer line was built in the 1960s and the pipe has been deteriorating rapidly over the past few years. This project will install a new master lift station and approximately 4,000 feet of force main from the new lift station to the existing lift station. This new system will be installed to current standards as approved by the North Dakota Department of Health. Additional funding includes an $81,357 Community Development Block Grant (through Roosevelt Custer Regional Council for Development) and a $789,243 Rural Development loan and grant combination.
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.