U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development State Director Michael Dora today announced that the Town of Gaston and the Town of North Judson are receiving federal funding for infrastructure improvements.
“The investments today will benefit 2,643 Indiana residents,” said Dora. “Water and waste infrastructure systems are beneficial to the economic growth of the community, as well as increased quality of life for rural communities.”
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.
Indiana projects include:
- Town of Gaston is receiving $488,000 loans and $1,029,000 grants to provide funding for upgrades to Gaston’s water system. This includes hydrants, auto-readers and software, and the installation of 13 new isolation valves and a six-inch water main connecting the water main at Wes-Del Elementary School to the water main on Jackson Street. There is an existing four-inch water main present in the system that will be upgraded to a six-inch water main in several areas. Gaston's 871 residents in rural Delaware County will benefit from this project as it is needed to alleviate violations of health and safety standards for control and delivery of water at suitable flow and pressure.
- Town of North Judson is receiving a $323,000 loan to provide additional assistance to a project dealing with a combined sewer collection system being converted into separate sanitary and storm sewers. This work involves the construction of new storm sewers along with sewer rehabilitation of the sanitary sewers. A new 1,000 gallon per minute (GPM) pump will be installed at the existing flow equalization pump station, bringing the firm pumping capacity of that station up to 2,000 GPM. A new 490 GPM pump station and force main to the existing oxidation ditch is proposed. The pump station will consist of a triplex, suction lift package lift station located between the two existing final clarifiers. A dedicated pump station will free-up raw sewage pumping capacity at the existing raw sewage (influent) lift station. New direct-drive motors with variable frequency drives will be installed at the existing oxidation ditch. The new oxidation ditch drive assemblies will provide greater operational efficiency, reduce operational and maintenance (O&M) costs, and extend the useful life of the existing aeration equipment. The existing chlorine disinfection basin will be expanded to provide the necessary volume to ensure proper disinfection at peak wastewater flows. Lastly, a new properly sized effluent flow meter is also included with the proposed project. This will benefit North Judson's 1,772 residents in rural Starke County, Ind. A previous Rural Development direct loan of $3,892,000 and a Rural Development planning grant of $28,100 were obligated for this project. An applicant contribution of $66,400 is included.
Today’s announcement came as part of a larger statement from USDA Deputy Under Secretary of Rural Development Donald “DJ” LaVoy in which he announced USDA is investing $144 million to improve rural water infrastructure in 25 states.
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.