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 including two projects in Connecticut and two in Massachusetts.
“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.”
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.
Below are some examples of the investments USDA is making:
- The Town of Salisbury, Connecticut received a $2.52 million Rural Development investment to correct include inflow/infiltration problems, replace a pump station and provide additional treatment at the plant to meet new phosphorus limits. This project will serve 4,669 people.
- The Town of Norfolk,. Connecticut received a $2.24 million loan and a $1.95 million grant to install 36,212 linear feet of the sewer pipe and replace and repair 13,081 linear feet of sewer pipe. The District which serves 553 residents is under a state consent order to reduce inflow and infiltration.
- Hillcrest Water District in Leicester, Massachusetts, which, serves 925 rural customers, received a $957,550 loan to construct a 400,000-gallon, glass-lined water storage tank, installation of security fencing with an access gate, and a maintenance parking area. The new tank will conform to current American Water Works Association tank safety requirements.
- Bondsville Fire & Water District in Palmer, Massachusetts, received a $2.215 million loan to install approximately 5,100 linear feet water main, relocate two existing water services to the new main and construct a pump station all of which will benefit more than 2,700 residents with improved water infrastructure.
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.