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.
“This $14 million investment represents significant progress in protecting the Great Lakes and ensuring clean drinking water for Michigan residents, but it represents only a fraction of resources available,” said USDA Rural Development State Director for Michigan Jason Allen. “There is $5 billion in additional funding on the table, and I urge rural Michigan communities to take advantage of this incredible opportunity.”
Michigan has six projects serving nine communities:
The North Houghton County Water and Sewage Authority will receive a $900,000 loan to continue work on improving the wastewater, sewer collection and treatment system. The authority provides sewer service for Calumet Township, Osceola Township, the Village of Calumet, and the Village of Laurium. This project serves 2,555 residential and 204 commercial customers.
Kochville Township, in Saginaw County, will receive a $475,000 loan for a water main extension. The project will affect 19 users who are currently being furnished water by a transmission line owned by the City of Saginaw that is being rerouted. Kochville Township operates its own water distribution system with water furnished by Saginaw.
Caledonia Charter Township, in Shiawassee County, will receive a $2,419,000 loan for improvements to their water distribution system which obtains water directly from the City of Owosso. The project will also address an area of 25 homes not connected to the municipal water system, resulting in poor water conditions. The upgraded system will serve 450 residential and 87 commercial customers.
The City of Clio, in Genesee County, will receive a $468,000 loan and $379,000 grant to provide additional funding for water main replacement including service leads, hydrants and valves. The city's water distribution system is more than 50 years old and the city experiences several water main breaks annually along with increased maintenance costs. This project will serve 821 residential and 161 other customers.
The Village of Jonesville, in Hillsdale County, will receive a $3,176,000 loan for water system improvements. The water system was constructed in 1951, but only 39 percent of it has been updated since the 1990s. The project will include improvements at the water treatment plant and well house campus, water mains, replacement of water meters and the installation of a new meter reading system. The system serves 699 residential and 161 commercial customers.
The City of Milan, in Monroe County, will receive a total of $6,288,000 in loans for both water and sewer system improvements.The system is approximately 50 years old and will see extensive improvements, including constructing a new pump station and force main to serve the industrial area south of the Ford Motor plant. The water and sewer systems serve 2,056 residential and 198 commercial customers.
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.