Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Anne Hazlett today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $267 million in 103 infrastructure projects to upgrade water and wastewater systems in rural communities.
“Robust, modern infrastructure is foundational for quality of life and economic opportunity – no matter what zip code you live in,” Hazlett said. “Under Secretary Perdue’s leadership, USDA is committed to being a strong partner in addressing rural infrastructure needs to support a more prosperous future in rural communities.”
USDA is making investments in 35 states through the Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant program. The funds can be used to finance drinking water, storm water drainage and waste disposal systems for rural communities with 10,000 or fewer residents.
Indiana’s five projects are:
The Town of Elberfeld is receiving a $473,900 loan and a $200,000 grant to fund a cost overrun for an original project upgrading a wastewater treatment plant and system. The system serves the Town of Elberfeld, a small community of 650 residents in Warrick County.
The Town of Gaston is receiving a $1,228,000 loan and a $584,000 grant for improvements to the Town of Gaston's wastewater treatment plant, including elimination of its existing dry well raw sewage lift station and conversion into a new pumping station. The system serves the town’s population of 683, in rural Delaware County.
The Town of North Judson will use a $4,892,000 loan to convert a portion of the town's combined sewer collection system into separate sanitary and storm sewers.The town is currently under an agreed order with the Indiana Department of Environmental Management. This project is part of the town's Long-Term Control Plan and is the result of a Rural Development Pre-planning Grant.
The Town of Oxford will receive a $350,000 loan to fund a subsequent loan for a project already in progress. The Town of Oxford serves a population of 1,162 in rural Benton County, Indiana. This project is part of Oxford's long-term control plan. A combined sewer overflow system will be separated due to health and sanitary issues. Previous Rural Development funding for this project is a $5,821,000 WEP loan and $2,588,000 WEP grant awarded in FY 2016.
The Town of Kingman is receiving a $810,000 loan and a $2,325,000 grant to upgrade a wastewater collection system and treatment plant. The system serves the 484 residents of the town, and is dealing with health and sanitary issues.
In FY 2018, Congress provided a historic level of funding for water and wastewater infrastructure. The 2018 Omnibus spending bill includes $5.2 billion for USDA loans and grants, up from $1.2 billion in FY 2017. It also directs Agriculture Secretary Perdue to make investments in rural communities with the greatest infrastructure needs.
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.