USDA Rural Development Administrator Visits Alabama to Highlight Funding that will Help Several Communities

(334) 462-7799

Brandon McBride, Administrator for USDA’s Rural Utilities Service, visited the state today and highlighted funding for telecommunication and water and wastewater projects that will enhance the quality of life in several rural Alabama communities.

“USDA’s infrastructure programs help provide access to enhanced education programs, safe, modern, and reliable water and sewer systems, and spur economic development to create a better quality of life for the people living and working in rural communities,” McBride said. “I am delighted to be in Alabama today to see how the work we are doing together is making a difference in this state.”

During a visit to Reid State Technical College in Evergreen on Monday, McBride joined Interim President David Rhodes and ACCS Chancellor Mark A. Heinrich to announce the implementation of a distance learning program between Reid State, high schools and other sites in Butler, Conecuh and Escambia counties, as well as a site in Camden.  Once the project is complete, high school students will have access to dual enrollment and college credit opportunities without having to travel to a Reid State campus.

Reid State Technical College recently received a $399,968 grant through USDA Rural Development’s Distance Learning and Telemedicine Program to establish these video conferencing connections to serve students and adult learners.  Additional funding for this project is being provided by Reid State. The USDA Distance Learning and Telemedicine Program finances telecommunications equipment, computer networks and advanced technologies for use by students, teachers, medical professionals and rural residents.

McBride also participated in Alabama Rural Water Association’s annual convention in Mobile and announced nearly $5 million in Federal loans and grants is being awarded to five municipalities and water/wastewater providers to evaluate and improve drinking water and wastewater services within the rural Alabama communities and towns they serve. Funding of each award announced today is contingent upon the recipient meeting the terms of the grant and loan agreement.

 

Recipient

Award

Project Description

Russell County Water Authority

$2,564,000 loan

$1,524,000 grant

Upgrades to existing system will include

new well, rehab existing well, and replace approximately 70,000 feet of water lines

Old Line Water Authority

(Clarke County)

$474,000 loan

$225,000 grant

Construct new office building for the water  authority’s  business operations and

customer services

Mosses Water, Sewer & Fire Protection Authority (Lowndes County)

$30,000 grant

Analyze cost of expanding wastewater

Service to 200 additional customers with

failing septic systems

Town of Loxley (Baldwin County)

$30,000 grant

Comprehensive feasibility study to identify points of weakness within storm drainage system

Town of Flomaton (Escambia County)

$30,000 grant

Analysis of wastewater treatment facility to determine repairs and upgrades needed to alleviate continued maintenance

Total

$4,877,000

 

USDA Rural Development is accepting applications for loans and grants to build or improve rural water and wastewater infrastructure. Applications may be completed online through RDAPPLY, a new electronic filing system, and through your local USDA Rural Development office.  Public entities (counties, townships and communities), non-profit organizations and tribal communities with a population of 10,000 or less are eligible to apply. Interest rates for this program are at historically low levels, ranging from 2 percent to 3.25 percent. Loan terms can be up to 40 years. 

According to State Director Ronnie Davis, since 2009 USDA Rural Development has invested more than $4.5 billion through affordable loans, loan guarantees and grants for housing, community facilities, business and infrastructure throughout Alabama.  Nearly $200 million assisted new and existing rural water and wastewater systems in rural communities and towns with a population of 10,000 or less.

President Obama's plan for rural America has brought about historic investment and resulted in stronger rural communities. Under the President's leadership, these investments in housing, community facilities, businesses and infrastructure have empowered rural America to continue leading the way – strengthening America's economy, small towns and rural communities.

More information on USDA Rural Development programs is available online at www.rd.usda.gov/al.

Last Modified: 03/21/2016