Texas State Director for Rural Development Edd Hargett announced today USDA is investing $56 million to help rebuild and improve rural water infrastructure for rural Texans.
“Funding for infrastructure is vital in helping rural communities keep the pace with their rising populations,” said Hargett. “We are pleased to be able to assist these communities in meeting their water and wastewater needs.”
Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Anne Hazlett today announced that USDA is investing $1.2 billion to assist 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 10 water and environmental infrastructure projects in Texas 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.
Below are the investments USDA is making in Texas:
- The City of Clyde is receiving a loan of $17,070,000 and grant of $5,430,000 to construct a pump station and untreated water intake at Lake Fort Phantom Hill in Jones County. An intermediate pump station will be constructed approximately half way between the intake pump station and the water treatment plant, and a surge tower will be constructed closer to Clyde. A fixed-base Automatic Meter Reading (AMR) system will be installed to replace the city's existing metering system. This project also includes a $9.9 million loan to refinance the city's existing debt associated with the purchase of water rights of Lake Fort Phantom Hill. The population served by this project is 3,713.
- The City of Magnolia will use a loan of $13,673,000 to help finance the expansion of the wastewater treatment plant and replace approximately 2 miles of sanitary sewer. The city received a Public Assistance Grant in the amount of $391,598 and will provide a local cost share amount of $130,533 to the project. The city of Magnolia is located Montgomery County and serves a population of 1,393.
- Green Valley Special Utility District is receiving a loan of $3,096,000 to construct two 1-million-gallon elevated storage tanks at Plant 3 and Plant 4. The proposed project will help provide a system that can meet storage and distribution requirements for the service area. Green Valley provides service to rural areas in Guadalupe County and serves a population of approximately 35,756.
- Green Valley Special Utility District is also receiving a loan of $5,290,000 to expand service to areas within the cities of Santa Clara and Cibolo. The improvements will include about three miles of waterline. The proposed project will help provide a source of potable water to meet distribution requirements, based on the projected population and water service connections growth within Green Valley Special Utility District's system.
- Green Valley Special Utility District will also use a loan of $5,430,000 for a wastewater buy-in project which involves purchasing capacity in two outside systems. The project areas are currently being developed for residential use. Green Valley Special Utility District's (SUD) infrastructure in the FM 1518 area will tie to the San Antonio River Authority system. The Woods at St. Claire subdivision will tie-in to the existing city of Marion's system. The project will provide a safe and healthy environment to the area. This project will provide service to rural areas around Marion, which is located in Guadalupe County and serves a population of approximately 2,904.
- Hawley Water Supply Corporation is receiving a $1,650,000 loan and $542,400 grants to make capital improvements including the upsizing of multiple distribution lines in order to increase service pressures and improve system capacity. The improvements will be made in specific areas of the system, including along Highway 277 and FM 3326. Hawley Water Supply serves a population of 5,421 residents.
- The Town of Broaddus will use an $840,000 loan and $636,000 grant to help finance improvements to the water treatment plant and replace approximately eight miles of distribution lines. These improvements will eliminate the high-water loss the town has incurred over the past few years due to the age of the current water lines. The town of Broaddus is located San Augustine County and serves a population of 207. The town previously received a $30,000 SEARCH Grant on June 14, 2016.
- Violet Water Supply Corporation is receiving a $698,500 loan to help finance improvements to the existing water system. These improvements include coating the interior and exterior of the existing 50,000-gallon elevated storage tank, installation of eight new horizontal stainless-steel beams, installation of 16 stainless steel tie-rods and turnbuckles and a new ladder on the interior of the tank. The population of the service area is 4,011.
- The City of Hale Center will use a $432,000 loan to help finance the replacement of the city's existing ground storage tank with a 0.12 million-gallon ground storage tank. The storage tank will correct the alleged violations the city has with the Texas regulatory agency. The city of Hale Center is located Hale County and serves a population of 2,252.
- The City of Balmorhea is receiving a $951,000 loan and $723,000 grant to help finance the city's removal of asbestos cement lines and replace smaller water lines. Funds will also be used to complete a loop around the city and repair a significant portion of its drinking-water transmission line that has suffered line breaks from unregulated pressures. The project will also include the removal of the elevated storage tank, the pressure filters, the booster pumps, and the ground storage tanks in town. The city of Balmorhea is located in Reeves County and serves a population of 479. The city previously received a $30,000 SEARCH Grant on November 27, 2016.
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.