Acting Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Joel Baxley today announced that USDA is investing in 40 projects in 20 states to improve rural water infrastructure. In Maine the Town of Norridgewock has been selected to receive a total of $325,000 for upgrades to its wastewater system.
“These investments will have a far-reaching, positive impact on rural residents, businesses and communities,” Baxley said. “Improving water and wastewater infrastructure enhances quality of life, helps support economic development and ensures that rural areas have safe and abundant water supplies.”
USDA Rural Development State Director Timothy P. Hobbs said, “This investment in the Town of Norridgewock will ensure properly working wastewater infrastructure for 314 households, 24 businesses, and six public facilities, while preserving the health of the Kennebec River watershed. Investments like this one are vital to supporting quality of life in Maine communities.”
USDA is investing $82 million through the Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant program. Rural communities, water districts and other eligible entities can use the funds for drinking water, stormwater drainage and waste disposal systems. The projects must be in rural communities with 10,000 or fewer residents.
The Town of Norridgewock has been selected to receive a Water and Waste Direct Loan in the amount of $240,000 and Grant in the amount of $85,000. This Rural Development investment will be used to improve the town's wastewater treatment facility and three sewer pump stations. The sewer system serves residents, businesses and public facilities in the town of Norridgewock. The wastewater treatment facility and pump stations have reached the end of their useful life. Upgrades are required to ensure the town will meet clean water standards.
Norridgewock's wastewater system plays an important role in preserving the waters of the Kennebec River watershed. The river is the state's second largest and is an important environmental, recreational and economic resource for Norridgewock and many other communities along its 170-mile run to the Atlantic Ocean. In addition, the Kennebec River is listed as critical habitat for the endangered Atlantic salmon. Previous funding includes $5 million in Rural Development loans and grants.
Other states receiving funding under this announcement are: Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, Washington and West Virginia.
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 facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov.
USDA Rural Development has Area Offices located in Presque Isle, Bangor, Lewiston, and Scarborough, as well as a State Office, located in Bangor. Rural Development staff work diligently to deliver the agency’s Housing, Business, and Community Programs, which are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, and farmers, and improve the quality of life in rural Maine. Further information on rural programs is available at a local USDA Rural Development office or by visiting USDA Rural Development's web site at www.rd.usda.gov/me.