TOPEKA, Kansas, June 10, 2020 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development State Director for Kansas Lynne Hinrichsen today announced that the department is investing $4 million to improve water infrastructure for the service areas of the Johnson County Rural Water District #7.
“Modern, reliable water infrastructure is essential to the continued prosperity of rural communities. This project specifically will help connect residents that are currently utilizing home wells to organized water distribution infrastructure, ensuring high-quality water for years to come.” Hinrichsen said. “Under the leadership of Agriculture Secretary Perdue and Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Bette Brand, USDA is committed to partnering with rural communities to improve their infrastructure, because when rural America thrives, all of America thrives.”
The Johnson County Rural Water District #7 will use a $4,024,000 loan to install new water distribution piping that will connect approximately 150 new rural customers with a safe and efficient water supply. Some residents living in the Rural Water District’s service area, covering eight townships within Johnson, Douglas and Miami counties, are currently hauling water to their residence or relying on wells. Once connected, residents will realize adequate, high-pressure quality and drinking water.
Today’s funding is in coordination with Deputy Under Secretary Bette Brand’s recent announcement that USDA is investing $281 million in 106 projects to improve water and wastewater infrastructure in rural communities of 36 states and Puerto Rico. USDA is funding the projects through the Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant program.
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.
Below are examples of water and wastewater projects in rural communities across the nation that will also receive funding:
- The city of Mabton, Wash., will use a $677,000 loan and a $296,195 grant to drill a new well. The city owns and operates a domestic water system that serves 632 active, metered connections. Ground water is currently pumped from two wells, delivered to an 800,000-gallon reservoir, treated by chlorination for disinfection and distributed to customers. The new well will augment water capacity, resulting in improved reliability.
- The city of Auburn, Ky., will use a $6.1 million loan and a $2.6 million grant to replace the wastewater treatment plant to accommodate increased discharge from a new industrial facility. The expanded treatment plant will continue to provide safe and reliable wastewater treatment services for customers in rural Logan County while expanding capacity for economic development.
- In Terlton, Okla., Pawnee County Rural Water District #2 will use a $1.7 million loan and a $597,000 grant to rehabilitate wells and bring the water treatment plant up to Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality standards. These improvements will enable the district to reduce the amount of water it is required to purchase. This will help lower operating expenses and increase the efficiency and sustainability of the system. The district provides water to 2,174 rural residents.
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/ks.
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