ATHENS, Ga., May 27, 2020 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Georgia State Director Joyce White today announced that the department is investing $8,901,000 for water and wastewater system upgrades in two rural Georgia cities. USDA is funding the projects through the Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant program.
“Our programs provide much-needed infrastructure or infrastructure improvements to rural communities. Safe drinking water and sanitary waste disposal systems are vital not only to public health but also to the economic vitality of rural America.” White 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 is the summary of the cities that will receive funding:
- The city of Jasper in Pickens County will use a $4,748,000 loan and a $2,977,000 grant to make improvements to its water pollution control plant to increase capacity and improve the treatment of the sewage. The project includes the relocation of the discharge point to protect a secondary trout stream.
- The city of Clarkesville in Habersham county will use a $1,176,000 loan for additional funding toward the renovation of the city's deteriorated and obsolete water treatment plant components and stabilization of the embankment of the raw water reservoir. This project will also improve the water distribution system including construction of a booster pump station and 300,000 gallons of storage capacity.
Additional projects were announced today in Alabama, Arkansas, California, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming.
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.