Nov 20, 2009

Agriculture Secretary Announces $117.3 Million for Rural Water Projects

Recovery Act funds will help improve infrastructure in rural areas of 17 states

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the selection of $117.3 million in water and environmental project loans and grants that are being funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

"Recovery Act projects are helping rural communities of all sizes build a foundation for economic strength, future prosperity and a healthy environment," Vilsack said. "The 31 water and wastewater projects we're announcing today are helping to achieve the Obama Administration's economic recovery goals to rebuild and revitalize the nation's infrastructure while creating or retaining jobs."

For example, in Anderson, S.C., Starr-Iva Water and Sewer District has been selected to receive a $3.2 million loan and $2.7 million grant to provide a new water system to more than 400 residents of Anderson County. The new system will replace individual wells--many with poor water quality. The new water system will allow for better fire protection services and economic development opportunities for the community.

The city of Swainsboro, Ga., was selected to receive a $6.4 million loan and $7.2 million grant to repair and renovate a wastewater treatment plant including installing a new main line, repairing of a pump station and collection lines. Emanuel County has a population of 6,943 and is a persistent poverty county. The city is under an existing Environmental Protection Div. consent order that will be removed with completion of these improvements.

Altogether, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced $1.96 billion for water and environmental project loans and grants, benefiting people throughout the country.

The ARRA funding announced is being administered by USDA Rural Development's Water and Environmental Program which provides loans and grants to ensure that the necessary investments are made in water and wastewater infrastructure to deliver safe drinking water and protect the environment in rural areas.

Funding of individual recipients is contingent upon meeting the terms of the loan or grant agreement.

President Obama signed The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 into law on Feb. 17, 2009.