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USDA announces $272M for rural water

  • 21 October 2021
  • ckearns

USDA announces $272M for rural water

The funds will support 114 projects through USDA's Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant Program, to improve rural water infrastructure for 270,000 people in rural communities.

Oct. 14, 2021

Today, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced $272 million in loans and grants to modernize rural drinking water and wastewater infrastructure for rural communities across 37 states and in Puerto Rico.

“As people in many parts of the nation battle drought and fires brought on by climate change, there has never been a more urgent need for this assistance,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “When we invest in rural infrastructure, we build opportunity and prosperity for people in rural communities. These investments support the local economy by making rural communities attractive, economically viable and safe places to live and work, therefore helping to create and save jobs by attracting and retaining employers and workers.”

USDA announced financing for 114 projects through its Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant Program. These investments will help improve rural infrastructure for 270,000 people and businesses.

USDA shared details on how the funds will be spent in the state of Pennsylvania in particular, where two projects are receiving funding:

The Borough of Smethport Authority (BOSA) in McKean County is receiving a $1.2 million loan to replace and/or upgrade water distribution, sewer collection, conveyance lines and fire hydrants. These lines are more than 50 years old and need to be replaced due to high unaccounted water loss.

This project will also allow for full fire emergency response, which is lacking in the area. The BOSA currently owns and operates the public water and wastewater system within Smethport Borough with users located in the borough and Keating Township.

The Neshannock Creek Watershed Joint Municipal Authority in Mercer County is receiving a $219,000 loan and $96,000 grant to install a mechanical bar screen at the Thompson Road pump station. The pump station requires continuous inspection and cleaning to remove debris buildup on the stationary bar screen and trash basket. Additionally, debris that is not being captured in the screening chamber, is entering the wet well and being pumped to the treatment plant resulting in excess debris in the aeration tanks. An open type shelter will be built as well to provide cover and protection for the equipment and control panel at the site.

The Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant Program provides funding for drinking water systems, sanitary sewage disposal, sanitary solid waste disposal and storm water drainage. The program serves people and businesses in eligible rural areas with populations of 10,000 or less.

In addition to Pennsylvania, USDA also today announced investments in Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Wyoming and Puerto Rico.

Interested readers can learn more about investment resources for rural areas by contacting a nearby USDA Rural Development state office.

Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities, create jobs and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans 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, tribal and high-poverty areas.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Agriculture

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