USDA Partners to Improve Rural Water Infrastructure for Nearly 250,000 People in 103 Communities
Loan and Grant Program Includes Four Projects in Kentucky
WASHINGTON (July 16, 2018) — Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Anne Hazlett announced Monday that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $267 million in 103 infrastructure projects (PDF, 298 KB) 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.”
The announcement included four projects in Kentucky:
* Augusta Regional Sewer Authority Inc., $3.2 million loan and $2.8 million grant;
* City of Central City, $850,000 loan and $150,000 grant;
* Greater Fleming County Regional Water Commission, $250,000 grant; and
* City of Monticello, $2,685,000 loan and $890,000 grant.
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.
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 Sonny 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.
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.