Washington D.C. — Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Anne Hazlett today announced that USDA is investing $1.2 billion to help rebuild and improve rural water infrastructure for 936,000 rural Americans living in 46 states. Five projects in Indiana are receiving funding.
“Access to water is a key driver for economic opportunity and quality of life in rural communities,” Hazlett said. “Under the leadership of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, USDA is committed to being a strong partner to rural communities in building prosperity through modern water infrastructure.”
USDA is providing financing for 234 water and environmental infrastructure projects through the Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant program. The funding can be used for drinking water, stormwater drainage and waste disposal systems for rural communities with 10,000 or fewer residents.
Below are examples of the investments USDA is making in Indiana:
- The Town of Lynnville will use a $1,214,000 loan to provide additional funding to upgrade sewer facilities and flow for the town’s 376 homes in rural Warrick County. Other funding for this project includes a previously obligated $441,000 loan and $932,000 grant from USDA Rural Development; a $50,000 applicant contribution; and a $600,000 grant from the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs.
- The Town of Westport will use a $1,082,000 loan and a $2,552,000 grant to replace the water treatment plant. In addition, the funding will assist with distribution system upgrades, install a new water main, make improvements to the elevated storage tank, stabilize the water supply dam, and replace water meters. This project will provide safe drinking water and help protect the health of nearly 603 homes in rural Decatur County. The applicant will contribute $46,000 and the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs will contribute a $700,000 grant.
- The Town of Monroe City will use a $1,588,000 loan and a $1,204,000 grant to replace the existing lift station and build a new manhole with new 10” sewer to direct flows to a new wet well. Also, all existing inoperable equipment will be replaced, including the blowers, comminutor and controls. This investment will help the town rehabilitate the existing plant, allowing new liners and piping for the polishing ponds, which will then be converted to wet weather flow tanks. The development and rehabilitation of the system will benefit the Town’s 248 homes.
- The Town of Monroe City will use a $755,000 loan and a $281,000 grant to install a new, deeper well within the current well field, rehabilitation of current wells, elevated tank rehabilitation, gate valve replacement and water meter replacement. The upgrades of the aged system will assist the 275 homes in rural Knox County.
- The Town of Summitville will use a $2,756,000 loan and a $2,734,000 grant to separate the sanitary sewer system from the storm water system for the 394 homes in rural Madison County. The proposed facility will include a new vacuum sewer system to serve nearly 230 homes.
“Having access to safe, clean, dependable water and wastewater collection and treatment services is important to Indiana’s rural communities,” said Michael Dora, USDA Rural Development State Director for Indiana. “The five projects in today’s announcement will improve the access and infrastructure for these systems and serve 1,896 rural Indiana homeowners in Lynnville, Westport, Monroe City, and Summitville. USDA Rural Development is proud to partner with these communities.”
USDA is making investments in rural communities in: Alaska, Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin 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.
To view the report in its entirety, please view the Report to the President of the United States from the Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity (PDF, 5.4 MB). In addition, to view the categories of the recommendations, please view the Rural Prosperity infographic (PDF, 190 KB).
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 services such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas.