Oct 20, 2010

Agriculture Deputy Secretary Merrigan Highlights Colorado Water and Wastewater Project

Recovery Act-funded project will create jobs and improve water quality for town of Wiggins

Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan highlighted a rural Colorado project that will create or save an estimated 50 jobs and improve the quality of drinking water for almost 200 rural households. Merrigan was joined by Rural Development State Director Jim Isgar, and Wiggins Mayor Mike Bates as she highlighted the benefits of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act).
"All across the nation, the Recovery Act is putting people to work and changing lives," said Merrigan. "This water and wastewater project is just one of over 850 projects across the country that will improve environmental quality, public health and provide services that make a town more attractive to prospective business development."
The town of Wiggins, located 70 miles northeast of Denver, will receive Recovery Act support to improve the existing water system by drilling a new well to produce a low-nitrate water supply and prevent the clogging of valves and mains. New pumps, a pump station, treatment equipment and pipelines will be installed, and water rights will be purchased. The funds also will be used to construct required augmentation ponds. When complete, the new system will serve 191 households in Wiggins and will end the practice of residents buying bottled water or maintaining individual treatment systems. The Recovery Act award, which totals $5,579,000, previously was announced by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.
"The project is an excellent example of how collaboration among our rural communities can truly be beneficial," said Isgar. "I am especially proud that this project was funded through the Recovery Act and will create fresh economic activity and job creation and help lay a long-term foundation for economic growth."
The funding is being provided through the USDA Rural Development Water and Environmental Program, which provides loans, grants and loan guarantees for drinking water, sanitary sewer, solid waste and storm drainage facilities in rural areas and cities and towns of 10,000 or less. Public bodies, non-profit organizations and recognized Indian tribes may qualify for assistance.