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USDA Partners to Improve Rural Water Infrastructure for Nearly 250,000 People in 103 Communities


Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Anne Hazlett today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $267 million in 103 infrastructure projects to upgrade water and wastewater systems in rural communities.

“Robust, modern infrastructure is foundational for quality of life and economic opportunity – no matter what zip code you live in,” Hazlett said. “Under Secretary Perdue’s leadership, USDA is committed to being a strong partner in addressing rural infrastructure needs to support a more prosperous future in rural communities.”

USDA is making investments in 35 states through the Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant program. The funds can be used to finance drinking water, storm water drainage and waste disposal systems for rural communities with 10,000 or fewer residents.

Below are some examples of USDA’s partnerships in water infrastructure:

  • The town of Elberfeld in Warrick County, IN will receive a $473,900 loan and a $200,000 grant to fund a cost overrun for an original project upgrading a wastewater treatment plant and system. The system will serve a small community of 650 residents.
  • The town of Gaston, Ind., will use a $1.228 million loan and a $584,000 for improvements to the town of Gaston’s wastewater treatment plant including elimination of its existing dry well raw sewage lift station and conversion into a new pumping station. Due to health and sanitary issues, the loan is obligated at the poverty rate of 2.125 percent.
  • The town of North Judson, Indiana, will receive a $3.9 million loan to convert a portion of the town’s combined sewer collection system into separate sanitary and storm sewers. The town is currently under an agreed order with the Indiana Department of Environmental Management. This project is part of the town’s Long-Term Control Plan and is the result of a Rural Development Pre-planning Grant.
  • The town Oxford, Indiana, in Benton County, will receive a $350,000 fund a subsequent loan for a project already in progress. The town of Oxford serves a population of 1,162 in rural Benton County, Indiana. This project is part of Oxford’s long-term control plan. A combined sewer overflow system will be separated due to health and sanitary issues. Previous Rural Development funding for this project is a $5,821,000 WEP loan and $2,588,000 WEP grant awarded in FY 2016.
  • The town of Kingman, Indiana, will receive a $810,000 loan and a $2.325 million grant to upgrade a wastewater collection system and treatment plant. The system serves the 484 residents of the town, and is dealing with health and sanitary issues.

In FY 2018, Congress provided a historic level of funding for water and wastewater infrastructure. The 2018 Omnibus spending bill includes $5.2 billion for USDA loans and grants, up from $1.2 billion in FY 2017. It also directs Agriculture Secretary Perdue to make investments in rural communities with the greatest infrastructure needs.

Rural community leaders can apply for these funds electronically by using the interactive RD Apply tool. They can also apply through one of USDA Rural Development’s state or field offices.