U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Illinois State Director, Douglas Wilson announced that they would be investing over $10 million in various projects to improve rural water infrastructure across the State.
"Safe and reliable water systems are vital to rural communities. These projects will not only improve the quality and quantity of the systems but, also ensure that local fire departments have an adequate supply of their most crucial firefighting tool," said Wilson.
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.
Fayette County is receiving a $500,000 loan and Grant of $190,000 to install an emergency interconnect to a neighboring community. This program will allow Fayette Water Company to sell bulk water soon. This project will also install approximately 19 miles of new water mains which will serve additional customers. This project will alleviate health and sanitary concerns, provide safe, potable, water, improve water pressure, and help new customers in Fayette County.
The city of Brookport is receiving $1,000,000 Loan and Grant of $1,770,00 to replace hydrants, valves, and existing cast-iron and under-sized water lines of the town. Funds will also go towards painting the existing water tower and modifications to water interconnect. This project will improve water quality, water pressure, and eliminate health and sanitary concerns.
The city of Sullivan is receiving a loan of $8,500,000 will be used to construct a new water treatment plant and a new building to house their only clarification unit at the plant. The new plant will be designed to treat 1.5 million gallons of water per day. The proposed treatment will be clarification via claricone filtration, via gravity filters and a chemical feed system with chlorine and fluoride. The plant will be built on the site of the current water plant allowing the current water plant to stay in operation which will result in a seamless transition to the new plant. This project will replace their existing water treatment plant, portions of which are over 40 years old and need a significant repair.
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 the 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 crucial recommendation of the task force.
To view the Report in its entirety, please see the Report to the President of the United States from the Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity (PDF, 5.4 MB). Also, to view the categories of the recommendations, please see 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.