WASHINGTON, Aug. 8, 2019 – The USDA announced that it is investing $135 million in 49 projects to improve rural water infrastructure in 24 states, including Utah, according to Chad Rupe, Administrator for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Utilities Service.
“Under the leadership of President Trump and Agriculture Secretary Perdue, USDA continues to partner with rural communities to address their current and long-term water needs,” Rupe said. “Modernizing water infrastructure will yield key health benefits and help spur economic growth – making rural places even more attractive to live and work.”
USDA is making the investments through the Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant program. Rural cities and towns, water districts and other eligible entities can use the funds for drinking water, stormwater drainage and waste disposal systems in rural communities with 10,000 or fewer residents.
Below are examples of projects announced today that show how USDA is partnering to improve rural water and wastewater infrastructure.
- The investment will provide additional financing for Glendale, in Southern Utah's Kane County, to make water source and system improvements. The town water sources are dilapidated and experiencing reduced water flow in addition to having sustained damage from nearby earthquakes. Improvements to the system will prevent overflow waste and increase system operations efficiencies. USDA is providing $94,000 in loans and $41,000 in grants available for this project.
- The city of Portsmouth, Iowa, will use a $300,000 loan to replace a water tower and part of the city’s distribution system. The updates will eliminate water losses and will improve water pressure throughout the community. They also will provide a reliable, affordable water system for Portsmouth’s residents and businesses.
- Northport, Wash., is receiving a $115,000 loan and a $345,000 grant to improve its water filtration system. The improvements will lower the levels of manganese and nitrates in drinking water.
USDA had $2.9 billion available for USDA Water and Environmental Program loans and grants at the beginning of fiscal year 2019. USDA will make additional funding announcements in coming weeks. The investments are being made in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, New Mexico, New York, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington and West Virginia.
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.
Additional water infrastructure projects in Utah were recently announced, including culinary water and water system improvements in the towns of Central Valley and Annabella, as well as the Spanish Valley Water And Sewer Improvement District.
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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