U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Bette Brand today announced that the department is investing $281 million in 106 projects to improve water and wastewater infrastructure in rural communities in 36 states and Puerto Rico. USDA is funding the projects through the Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant program.
“These investments will bring modern, reliable water and wastewater infrastructure to rural communities. They will replace deteriorating, leaking water pipes with new ones and upgrade water handling systems that are decades old. These investments create jobs and improve public health and safety for our rural neighbors,” Brand 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.”
USDA is funding projects in Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
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 Jackson County, West Virginia, the Southern Jackson Public Service District is receiving a $2,000,000 loan that will be used to extend water service to White Pine, Windell Ridge, Jim Ridge, and Station Camp. The Public Service District will construct approximately 800 linear feet of eight-inch waterline, 59,000 linear feet of six-inch waterline, and 1,500 linear feet of two-inch waterline. They will construct a booster station, a 50,000-gallon storage tank, and necessary appurtenances to serve 82 new users in the proposed service areas. Fire protection capabilities are planned for most of the proposed service areas. Overall, the District maintains approximately 146 miles of water main of various sizes, seven storage tanks with approximately one million gallons total capacity, and six booster stations serving 6,699 people.
USDA Rural Development West Virginia State Director Kris Warner said, “The investment we’re announcing will enable critical infrastructure improvements in Jackson County.” He went on to add, “USDA Rural Development, under the leadership of President Trump and Secretary Perdue, is pleased to be involved in this project that will increase the quality of life for our residents of rural West Virginia. For our communities to thrive, we must have access to infrastructure such as water, wastewater, and broadband that will energize opportunities for growth.”
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.
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USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender.