Hilda Legg, State Director for USDA Rural Development, announced today more than $25.5 million in rural water infrastructure improvements and expansions.
“At Rural Development in Kentucky, we are proud to work closely with cities and counties to expand and revitalize water infrastructure,” lauded Legg. “These investments ensure modern infrastructure for our communities and increase opportunities for job creation.”
Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Anne Hazlett today announced that USDA is investing $1.2 billion nationwide to help rebuild and improve rural water infrastructure for 936,000 rural Americans living in 46 states.
“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.
Eligible communities and water districts can apply online on the interactive RD Apply tool, or they can apply through one of USDA Rural Development’s state or field offices.
Below are some examples of the investments USDA is making in Kentucky:
The City of Springfield was awarded $9 million low-interest loan and $2.9 million grant funds to expand the existing wastewater treatment plant to a capacity of 1.3 million gallons per day. The project includes the replacements of outdated equipment and processes to meet modern treatment standards. This project will benefit 1,349 existing water customers in Springfield and rural Washington County.
The Todd County Water District was awarded $3.2 million low-interest loan and $390,000 grant funds to construct approximately two miles of waterline and one 500,000-gallon water storage tank to accommodate a new industrial site and its one million gallon per day water demand. Initially, Novelis Industries plans to build a multi-million-dollar automotive aluminum sheet manufacturing facility on the 153-acre site. The company plans to create approximately 125 jobs for the community. Additionally, this project involves the relocation of a line on U.S. Highway 79 to a road widening project. Todd County Water District currently provides water service to 3,544 customers in Todd County.
Mountain Water District in Pike County was awarded $3.5 million to replace approximately 15,000 water meters that have reached the end of their useful life. The old meters will be replaced with new “radio read” meters for their customers. This upgrade of the water district’s system will benefit approximately 16,725 customers in Pike County.
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.