Acting Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Joel Baxley today announced that USDA is investing $116 million to help rebuild and improve rural water infrastructure for 171,000 rural Americans in 23 states. In Maine, the Town of Livermore Falls, and Town of Bethel, have been selected to receive a total of $5.9 million to upgrade their wastewater systems.
“Helping to bring modern water and wastewater infrastructure to rural communities will increase economic opportunities and improve the quality of life for rural residents,” Baxley said. “The investments USDA is announcing today are foundational to health, safety and economic development in rural communities across America.”
USDA Rural Development State Director Timothy P. Hobbs said, “I am pleased USDA Rural Development can invest in this essential Maine wastewater infrastructure, which serves thousands of rural Maine residents and supports area businesses and community facilities.”
In Maine, two towns will upgrade their wastewater systems as follows:
The Town of Livermore Falls has been selected to receive a total of $4,751,000 (Water and Waste Disposal Direct Loan of $3,972,000 and Water and Waste Disposal Direct Grant of $779,000). This Rural Development investment will be used to upgrade the town's wastewater treatment facility, which also provides services to the neighboring town of Jay. This system is over 40 years old and equipment is approaching the end of its useful life. The town will build two circular primary clarifiers, new sludge holding tanks, and a new chlorine contact tank. The town also proposes to upgrade associated equipment, including primary sludge pumps, tank drain pumps, new HVAC systems. The system serves a population of 8,038.
The Town of Bethel has been selected to receive $1,203,000 for a Water and Waste Disposal Direct Loan. This Rural Development investment will help the town of Bethel upgrade its de-watering building. The system serves 2,607 residents and is more than 40 years old and beyond its useful life expectancy. This project will include upgrades to bring the facility into compliance and address health and safety hazards.
This funding is being provided through the Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant program. It can be used for drinking water, stormwater drainage and waste disposal systems for rural communities with 10,000 or fewer residents.
USDA is making investments in rural communities in: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, North Carolina, Nebraska, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Utah and Washington.
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 http://www.rd.usda.gov/me.