Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Anne Hazlett has 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. Two Nebraska communities received a total of $3.3 million.
“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 the Nebraska investments USDA is making:
- The Village of Edison will receive a $100,000 loan to fund a cost overrun for an urgent replacement of the lift station which has surpassed its useful life. This infrastructure improvement will eliminate health concerns and allow the village to efficiently provide wastewater services to its 133 residents. Additional funding was a USDA Direct loan to the village of Edison for $206,000.
- The City of Edgar will receive a $981,000 loan and $2.3 million in grant funds to improve the water system in the city. The city has 224 residential and 19 commercial users on the water system that is dangerously high in nitrates. The proposed project will construct a transmission main to interconnect Edgar to the nearby city of Fairfield. Fairfield's wellfield lies in a natural drainage area surrounded by unfarmed ground, so nitrates remain low. The project will ensure a safe water source for Edgar and help spread the costs associated with operating a water system over more users. The project came to fruition after many discussions between the two neighboring towns.
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.