Colorado USDA Rural Development Celebrates Earth Day, Invests $3.2 Million in Rural Water Infrastructure in San Luis Valley

DENVER, Colo., April 22, 2021 – Today, in honor of Earth Day 2021, Colorado Acting State Director Irene Etsitty announced the United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development is investing $3.2 million in critical infrastructure that will help Colorado communities build back better and stronger while prioritizing climate-smart solutions and environmental stewardship. USDA is making the investments in Colorado under the Water and Environmental Program (WEP).

“Water is a critical resource for every community.  The assistance provided today, can help mitigate health risks and increase access to safe, reliable drinking water and sanitary waste disposal services,” said Etsitty. 


Center Sanitation District, in Center, Colorado, was awarded an additional $3,273,000 to complete a Mechanical Wastewater Treatment Plant.  The District has an existing lagoons system that is currently out of compliance and this subsequent funding package will contribute toward the completion of a new Mechanical Wastewater Treatment Plant which will better serve the community and surrounding areas.   Having proper wastewater treatment and disposal systems is important for a community’s economic vitality and public health.  Previously, in 2020, Rural Development provided $8.5 million in loan and grant funding for the project. “Once complete the project will ensure the residents of Center have clean waste disposal services for years to come”, said Etsitty. 

The USDA Rural Development WEP program provides funding for clean and reliable drinking water systems, sanitary sewage and solid waste disposal, and storm water drainage to households and businesses in eligible rural areas. Nationwide, USDA is investing $487 million in critical infrastructure that will help communities in 45 states under the Water and Environmental Programs, the Rural Energy for America Program, the Electric Loan Program, and the Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program

Under the Biden-Harris Administration, Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities, create jobs and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans 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, Tribal and high-poverty areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov/co.

USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. In the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit www.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.