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USDA Invests in Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Improvements in 5 Rural NY Counties

Christopher Stewart
Release Date

NY State Director for U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development (RD) Richard Mayfield today announced that USDA is investing $13.2 million to improve rural water infrastructure in 5 rural NY counties. This is part of a national announcement totaling more than $201 million, across 31 states, that will benefit more than 300,000 rural Americans.

   “Modern, reliable and accessible infrastructure is critical to economic development and quality of life,” Mayfield said. “Under the leadership of President Trump and Agriculture Secretary Perdue, USDA is committed to partnering with rural communities to help them improve their infrastructure, because when rural America thrives, all of America thrives.”

   USDA is providing the funding through the Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant program. Eligible applicants include rural cities, towns and water districts. The funds can be used 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 Leicester          This Rural Development investment of $800,000 in loan and $572,000 in grant will provide a new distribution system for the town of Leicester's Route 36 Water District. It will provide a safe and reliable potable water supply and fire protection to 53 residents, a mobile home park, and four commercial properties.
  • Town of Barre                       This Rural Development investment of $500,000 in loan and $601,000 in grant will help finance the Water District Number 10 in the town of Barre in Orleans County, N.Y. This project will extend public water service to 31 residential users in the town that currently do not have safe, potable water. Water quality testing indicates a significant portion of residents' individual wells have poor quality and quantity. Installation of water mains will alleviate the problem and provide reliable water service to the residents as well as adequate fire protection.
  • The Town of Potsdam           This Rural Development investment of $1,657,000 in loan and $3,125,000 in grant will be used to construct a distribution system for the proposed Rt 56 water district in the township of Potsdam in St. Lawrence County, N.Y. The proposed Rt 56 water district customers currently have individual dug or drilled wells, many with less than the 100-foot recommended separation distance from septic systems. The project includes a 200,000-gallon water storage tank that will be included to provide the average daily demand of 22,500 gallons as well as fireflows for the users.
  • The Town of Wawarsing      This Rural Development investment of $807,000 in loan and $1,492,250 in grant will be used to replace 9,360 linear feet of asbestos-cement piping and 3,120 linear feet of cast-iron piping with properly-sized, modern pipe. The project would also include sand-blasting and re-painting the water storage tanks and installing new water meters for all district accounts. None of the improvements will take place outside of the Kerhonkson Water District boundaries.  The cost of installing meters for those users outside of the district will be paid by the town using their own funds.
  • The Town of Rose                 This Rural Development investment of $3,660,000 in loan will make needed improvements to the pressure and flows throughout the town's system that is currently composed of asbestos- cement pipe that has not been replaced since the 1940's. It will update the system to provide a safe and reliable potable water supply and fire protection to 532 residents, 14 multi-family residences, one migrant house, four apartments, 18 commercial, 24 community service organizations, five industrial, six public service, three school districts, one farm, one vinegar business, one water service and 30 vacant parcels in the town of Rose's multiple water districts.

   USDA awarded nearly $1.8 billion for Water and Environmental Program loans and grants during fiscal year 2019. View the interactive RD Apply tool or contact one of USDA Rural Development’s state or field offices for application or eligibility information.

   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.