U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Deputy Under Secretary of Rural Development Donald “DJ” LaVoy today announced that USDA is investing $144 million to improve rural water infrastructure in 25 states (PDF, 163 KB).
“Modern and reliable water and wastewater infrastructure systems are foundational to economic growth and quality of life in rural communities,” LaVoy said. “Under the leadership of President Trump and Agriculture Secretary Perdue, USDA is committed to investing in this critical infrastructure, because when rural America thrives, all of America thrives.”
USDA is investing in 45 projects through the Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant program. Eligible applicants include rural cities and towns, and water districts. They can use the funds for drinking water, stormwater drainage and waste disposal systems in rural communities with 10,000 or fewer residents.
Below are examples of projects announced today:
- The town of Winfield, W.Va., is receiving an $8.8 million loan to upgrade its wastewater treatment plant. The town will build a new headworks structure; improve mechanical systems; and improve grading, piping, storm drainage, sidewalks and fencing. This investment will benefit 1,055 residential users and 64 businesses.
- Tuscarawas County, Ohio, is receiving a $2.2 million loan and a $1.4 million grant to modernize the Wilkshire Hills water treatment facility, first constructed in the late 1970s. A third supply well will be added, and new pressure filtration equipment and master meters will be installed. These improvements will support current operations and accommodate future growth, including a planned expansion into the neighboring village of Bolivar.
- Maine’s Paris Utility District is receiving a $189,000 loan to repair sewer lines along the Billings Bridge in South Paris. Replacing the 46-year-old, 12-inch lines will provide more reliable wastewater service to the system’s 1,216 users.
USDA is announcing investments today in Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington and West Virginia.
USDA had $2.9 billion available for Water and Environmental Program loans and grants at the beginning of 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.