U.S. Dept. of Agriculture State Director for Michigan Jason Allen today announced projects in nine Michigan communities to help rebuild and improve rural water and wastewater infrastructure.
“Michigan is blessed with abundant fresh water, but that comes with a responsibility to protect it for future generations,” Allen said. “These projects underscore Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue’s commitment to rural communities.”
USDA is supporting investments in 120 infrastructure projects through the Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant program. It can be used to finance drinking water, stormwater drainage and waste disposal systems for rural communities with 10,000 or fewer residents. In many cases, states, other federal partners and nonprofits are working with USDA to also provide funding for these projects.
Michigan communities are receiving a total of $25.8 million in loans and $12.5 million in grants. The recipients are:
The City of Croswell, in Sanilac County, will use a $1,257,000 loan and $3,740,000 grant to improve the secondary sewage treatment process, upgrade the wastewater treatment facility, fund building improvements, address a riverbank discharge area and fund an energy recovery system. The changes will improve water quality and better serve 964 residential and 28 commercial customers.
The City of Newaygo, in Newaygo County, will use a $976,000 loan and $1,194,000 grant to complete reconstruction of deteriorated sanitary sewer pipes, rehabilitate sewer lift stations, add standby power to lift stations, and repair the inlet structure. The project will serve an area with 333 residential and 165 commercial users.
The White Cloud Sherman Utilities Authority, also in Newaygo County, will use a $4,950,000 loan to upgrade equipment, and add generators to 15 sewage pump stations. Repairs will also be made to the wastewater treatment plant pump house. Additionally, aerators at the sewage lagoons will be replaced.
The City of Swartz Creek, in Genesee County, will use a $2.9 million loan and a $2.3 million grant to make improvements to its water system. A majority of the distribution system was developed 40-50 years ago with mostly cast-iron pipe. The water mains are growing increasingly brittle and have experienced numerous breaks in the past five years. With each break, customers receive a boil water notice of varying durations. The project includes replacing approximately four miles of water main, hydrants and valves, and making other repairs. The project will serve 2,098 residential and 216 commercial customers.
Beecher Metropolitan District, also in Genesee County, has two projects.A $1,290,000 loan and $2,825,000 grant will be used to
Oshtemo Charter Township, in Kalamazoo County, will use a $8,346,000 loan to expand the sewer collection system to unserved areas of the township. The first of three phases, the project includes 898 new residential and commercial customers and will address the areas with the most imminent need for sewer collection and treatment due to failing septic systems. Many of these septic systems are over 20 years old, built to code at that time, but are now needing repair and replacement. The county health department has documented that over half (59.1%) of the homes do not comply with the standards required today. The total of the three-phase project is estimated to be $25,182,000 and . will include 4.5 miles of gravity sewer, one lift station, manholes, and road restoration.
The City of Beaverton, in Gladwin County, will use a $277,000 loan and $829,000 grant to replace three sewage pump stations, and eliminate groundwater infiltration. New force mains will be installed to improve service to 321 residential and 114 commercial customers.
The Village of Concord, in Jackson County, will use a $3,521,000 loan and $679,000 grant to replace four miles of old, brittle cast-iron distribution main. The project will improve service for 489 residential and 70 commercial customers.
Albee Township, in Saginaw County, will use a $1,116,000 loan and $913,000 grant to construct 4.65 miles of water mains, adding 58 users. Fire hydrants, valves, and restoration will be included. This is phase four of a project that will serve 214 residential and 5 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 $1.8 billion in FY 2017. The bill also directs Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue to make investments in rural communities with the greatest infrastructure needs.
Eligible rural communities and water districts can apply online for funding to maintain, modernize or build water and wastewater systems. They can visit the interactive RD Apply tool, or they can apply through one of USDA Rural Development’s state or field offices.
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.