USDA Rural Development Colorado State Director Sallie Clark announced today that USDA is investing over $16.5 million in Colorado to improve water and wastewater facilities in three Colorado communities. “Having access to both safe drinking water and waste disposal systems is a vital piece of public health and economic prosperity for our rural communities,” said Clark. “The funding awarded today will assist the Towns of Westcliffe, Estes Park, and Romeo with upgrades and replacements to their water and sewer systems,” said Clark.
Below are summaries of USDA’s investments in Colorado:
• Round Mountain Water & Sanitation District in Westcliffe was awarded a $4,926,000 loan and grant combination to renovate the community's wastewater system. The district will purchase and install a mechanical wastewater treatment system and will construct a new office and storage facility for operations. The new system will serve 620 users.
• The Town of Estes Park received a $11,040,00 loan and grant combination to upgrade the Prospect Mountain Water Company's distribution system to standards and requirements required by the Town of Estes Park. Once the improvements take place, the town will absorb the additional 128 users into its regional system (of 5,000+ users). This consolidation will result in a stronger, more sustainable system long-term. Additional funding for this project includes $25,000 from the Department of Local Affairs and a $45,000 applicant contribution.
• The Town of Romeo in Conejos County received a $558,700 loan and grant combination to replace the pump system with a constant pressure system and replace meters with remote meters. The disinfection system will be upgraded, and a backup generator will be installed for emergency purposes. Wastewater improvements will include replacing the ultra-sonic flow measurement device and controls for influent and effluent metering locations. The water project will assist 149 residents and two businesses. The sewer portion of the project will assist 119 residential users.
Nationwide, USDA is investing $1.2 billion to help rebuild and improve rural water infrastructure in 46 states. USDA providing financing for 234 water and environmental infrastructure projects through the department’s 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.
Eligible rural communities and water districts can apply to the Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant program 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 Colorado Rural Development’s state or field offices.
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 in Colorado, visit www.rd.usda.gov/co.