U.S. Department of Agriculture Ohio Rural Development State Director David L. Hall today announced Ohio is among 42 states in which USDA is investing $635 million to improve water systems and wastewater handling services. USDA is funding the projects through its Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant program.
“In the absence of robust foundational infrastructure – particularly, access to safe drinking water and functional wastewater treatment – it’s difficult for rural communities to thrive,” said Hall. “This type of infrastructure is the well from which all other opportunities spring. That’s why we are so pleased to collaborate with our partners in Athens, Columbiana, and Huron Counties to help ensure bedrock services such as this are in place.”
- The Athens County Board of Commissioners will use its combined $6 million loan and grant to provide additional funding for the U.S. 50 Albany Corridor wastewater collection system being constructed in Appalachian Athens County. Combined with a $14.3 million Persistent Poverty Grant, an initial USDA Water and Wastewater Disposal Loan of $14.5 million was obligated in July 2017.
- The Village of East Palestine (Columbiana County) will use its combined $11,436,636 loan and grant to finance improvements to the community’s wastewater collection system and treatment plant, which originally was constructed in 1926. The village is a past recipient of $2.5 million in USDA Water and Environmental Programs funding.
- The Village of New London (Huron County) will use its combined $3,048,000 loan and grant to fund improvements to its wastewater treatment plant, which has been in service for nearly 75 years. Past collaborations with the village include $8,232,000 in USDA Water and Environmental Programs funding.
In addition to Ohio, projects announced are located in Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
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.
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.