WASHINGTON, May 27, 2020 – 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 Wyoming, water and wastewater projects in communities that will receive funding:
- The Northern Arapaho Tribe on the Wind River Indian Reservation in Fremont County will use a $46,000 loan and a $4,450,000 grant to make necessary upgrades to the Northern Arapaho Utilities. Long-awaited improvements such as implementation of water conservation, public health security by prevention of contamination through back-siphoning, water transmission lines, and necessary water storage will enable equitable distribution of costs among system users. By correcting health hazards and bringing the system into compliance, the utility can continue to provide a sanitary water supply to its residents, thus serving as an investment for future generations. Rural Development in partnership with Wyoming Water Development Commission and Indian Health Services are excited to bring this endeavor to fruition.
- The Big Horn Regional Joint Powers Board will use a $552,000 loan and a $1,592,000 grant to connect the town of Burlington to a regional water supply system in Big Horn County, Wyo. The water pipeline will be extended over 14 miles into Burlington, providing safe drinking water and future connections for outlying areas. This improvement project will include a pump station and a connection point to the Burlington system. Residents in this area will benefit with the improved reliability of safe drinking water, now and for years to come.
- The town of Mills will use a $4,765,600 loan will be used to finance drinking water distribution, sanitary sewer collection, and storm water collection system upgrades in Natrona County, Wyo. These upgrades will enable the system to handle growth of residential demand in the area.
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.