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USDA Invests in Wastewater System and a Master Lift Station for 7,608 Rural Residents in Bradford and Orange County

Danielle Ehlers
Release Date

Projects will Improve Wastewater Facility, a Master Lift Station, Address Public Health and Sanitation, and Environmental Issues

Gainesville, Florida, November 19, 2019 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development State Director, Phil Leary, AICP today announced that the USDA is investing $8,898,000 in loan and $7,950,650 in grant for a wastewater treatment facility and a master lift station in the two rural communities of Bradford and Orange counties. USDA is funding the projects through the Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant program.

"These investments will bring reliable infrastructure to rural communities. They will replace a treatment plant that is at the end of its useful life, and replace a master lift station for the communities which are decades old. Each project will correct health and sanitation issues, remove high levels of nitrogen and phosphorous containments., Working with our partners, these investments create jobs and improve public health and safety," Leary said. "Under the leadership of President Trump and Agriculture Secretary Perdue, USDA is committed to partnering with rural communities to help them improve their infrastructure, because when rural America thrives, all of America thrives."

Eligible applicants include rural cities, towns and water districts. The funds can be used for drinking water, stormwater drainage and waste disposal systems in rural communities that meet population limits.

Below are the two projects that will receive funding:

  • Starke, Fla., will use an $8.8 million loan and a $7.8 million grant to improve the city’s wastewater treatment facility. The existing wastewater treatment plant is over 40 years old and is nearing the end of its useful life and lacks the means for removing high levels of nitrogen and phosphorous. The city is under a consent order issued by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. System improvements will correct the health and sanitary issues.
  • Eatonville, Fla., will use a $79,000 loan and a $142,650 grant to provide additional financing for the town's "Park Master Lift Station" replacement project. The new lift station will resolve a health and sanitation threat created by the potential failure of the existing lift station which has reached the end of its serviceable life.

View the interactive RD Apply tool or contact one of USDA Rural Development’s state or field offices for application or eligibility information.

In April 2017, President Donald J. Trump established the Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity to identify legislative, regulatory and policy changes that could promote agriculture and prosperity in rural communities. In January 2018, Secretary Perdue presented the Task Force’s findings to President Trump. These findings included 31 recommendations to align the federal government with state, local and tribal governments to take advantage of opportunities that exist in rural America. Increasing investments in rural infrastructure is a key recommendation of the task force.

To view the report in its entirety, please view the Report to the President of the United States from the Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity (PDF, 5.4 MB). In addition, to view the categories of the recommendations, please view the Rural Prosperity infographic (PDF, 190 KB).

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 is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender.