USDA Invests in Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Improvements in 25 States, including Colorado

Investments will Benefit 168,000 People in Rural Communities
WASHINGTON, Sept. 23, 2019 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Deputy Under Secretary of Rural Development Donald “DJ” LaVoy today announced that USDA is investing $144 million to improve rural water infrastructure in 25 states (PDF, 163 KB).
“Modern and reliable water and wastewater infrastructure systems are foundational to economic growth and quality of life in rural communities,” LaVoy said. “Under the leadership of President Trump and Agriculture Secretary Perdue, USDA is committed to investing in this critical infrastructure, because when rural America thrives, all of America thrives.”
USDA is investing in 45 projects through the Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant program. Eligible applicants include rural cities and towns, and water districts. They can use the funds for drinking water, stormwater drainage and waste disposal systems in rural communities with 10,000 or fewer residents.
Below are examples of projects announced in Colorado today:

  • Town of Estes Park $1,315,000 This Rural Development investment will be used to replace 2,630 linear feet of water lines in a critical area of town along Big Thompson Avenue, which have exceeded their useful life. The current pipe size will also be increased to provide adequate fire flow to approximately 5,000 users. (CO Michael Bennet, Cory Gardner & Joe Neguse)
  • Town of Peetz $376,000 $924,000 This Rural Development investment will be used to construct a new wastewater evaporative pond for treatment of the town’s sewage, purchase land necessary for the new plan, and cover the engineering, legal and other costs associated with the project. Their current facility does not comply with state guidelines and policy, but will be resolved with this project. (CO Michael Bennet, Cory Gardner & Ken Buck)
  • Town of Wiggins $5,568,000 $4,360,000 This Rural Development investment will be used to fund the first of three phases for the town’s wastewater project. This first phase will consist of augmentation ponds that will be used for both augmentation, as well as a discharge point for effluent of a new wastewater treatment plant planned in phase 3. This phase will allow for replacement of several hundred feet of damaged sewer lines, and also refinance existing debt for the sewer augmentation pond and future wastewater treatment property. This project will ultimately provide a safe and sanitary system that is currently violating health and sanitary standards. CO Michael Bennet, Cory Gardner & Ken Buck)
USDA is announcing investments today in Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington and West Virginia.
USDA had $2.9 billion available for Water and Environmental Program loans and grants at the beginning of fiscal year 2019. USDA will make additional funding announcements in coming weeks.
View the interactive RD Apply tool or contact one of USDA Rural Development’s state or field offices for application or eligibility information.
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 facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov.

By Brian Allmer - The BARN

Brian Allmer & the BARN are members of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB), the Colorado FFA Foundation, the Colorado 4H Foundation, the Colorado Farm Show Marketing Committee, 1867 Club Board Member, Denver Ag & Livestock Club Member, the Weld County Fair Board, the Briggsdale FFA Advisory Council, Briggsdale 4H Club Beef Leader & Founder / Coordinator of the Briggsdale Classic Open Jackpot Show.