CASPER, Wyo., Nov. 21, 2022 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development (RD) Wyoming State Director Glenn Pauley today announced that the Wyoming USDA Rural Development office led the nation in leveraging Water and Waste Disposal program projects (411 percent) in fiscal year 2022. RD partnered with several Wyoming entities to make this goal a reality.
“Improving water infrastructure is a top priority in Wyoming. The ability to leverage funds allows us to expand the reach of taxpayer dollars and provide funding to more projects,” Pauley said. “I am extremely proud of our staff here in Wyoming. Every day they are dedicated to the RD mission and figuring out how we can get projects funded across the state.”
In 2015, the town of Lusk experienced a devastating flood and is still in the process of rebuilding its infrastructure. In the first phase of the project, Rural Development provided over $5.4 million to the town to improve its outdated water, wastewater and storm systems. Miles of water and sewer mains will be replaced, and the storm collection system will be improved. Updated infrastructure will ensure clean and reliable drinking water systems, sanitary sewage and solid waste disposal, and storm water drainage.
Projects like the town of Lusk’s are made possible by partnerships between federal, state and local groups, along with the applicant itself. In addition to funding from RD, the town of Lusk’s project first phase was supported by the State Land Investment Board (SLIB) which provided over $3.8 million in additional funding. Leveraging RD funds with SLIB and other partners helped to fill the gap; partnering with other funding encourages more projects to be completed.
The Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant Program provides funding for clean and reliable drinking water systems, sanitary sewage disposal, sanitary solid waste disposal, and storm water drainage. The program serves people and businesses in eligible rural areas with populations of 10,000 or less. Projects require underwriting from staff, sustainability and must be modest in size, scope and design. This ensures funds are given where they are needed. Rural Development staff help the applicant plan for future maintenance, upkeep and continual upgrades to keep the system sustainable for the community.
Under the Biden-Harris Administration, Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities, create jobs and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans 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, tribal and high-poverty areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov. If you’d like to subscribe to Wyoming USDA Rural Development updates, visit our GovDelivery subscriber page.