USDA Rural Development Celebrates Earth Day by Supporting Water Quality Projects in West Virginia
USDA Rural Development State Director Bobby Lewis joined with local residents and government officials today in Mingo County to make presentations to the Town of Gilbert and the Mingo County Public Service District (PSD) in honor of Earth Day. The theme for Earth Day 2015 is “It’s Our Turn to Lead” and USDA’s investments of more than $112 million in loans and grants for water and wastewater improvements and $2 million in funding for more efficient energy usage demonstrate USDA’s continued leadership on environmental issues.
Earth Day is observed annually on April 22 to raise awareness about the role each person can play to protect vital natural resources and safeguard the environment. This year, Rural Development will host events across the country highlighting both newly funded projects as well as past Earth Day projects.
Among the projects funded this year, the Town of Gilbert and the Mingo County Public Service District, are both receiving funds for wastewater extension projects. The Town of Gilbert is the recipient of loan and grant funds totaling $1,550,000. Funds will be used to partially finance the extension of public water service to approximately 33 additional households and small businesses that are in desperate need of a safe and reliable source of water.
The Mingo County PSD has been awarded a loan of $1,000,000 and a grant of $985,800. This funding will support Phase II of the Ben Creek waterline extension project that will provide service to approximately 110 households. Funding was provided in Fiscal Years 2013 and 2014 for Phase I of the project which is set to begin construction.
USDA Rural Development State Director Bobby Lewis said, “Our agency is pleased to join with the Town of Gilbert and the Mingo County Public Service District today as we celebrate Earth Day.” He went on to say, “Earth Day reminds us of the critical role that USDA can play to help protect our environment while safeguarding our nation’s natural resources.” Mr. Lewis added, “Today we celebrate not only Earth Day, but the commitment and dedication of everyone associated with the Town of Gilbert, the Mingo County Public Service District, the Mingo County Commission and residents of these local communities.”
USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, administers and manages housing, business and community infrastructure and facility programs through a national network of state and local offices. These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural areas.