More than $462 million in grant funding from the Department of Agriculture has been announced for a wide variety of new water and wastewater infrastructure projects in 44 states.
In making the funding announcement, Bette Brand, Rural Development Under Secretary for the Agriculture Department, said the newly-funded upgraded water and wastewater management facilities “will improve public health and drive economic development in our small towns and cities.”
The funding for just over 160 projects is more specifically coming through the Department’s Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant Program, with nearly $2 million out of that program going to the Walden Meadows Community Co-Op in Kirkland, Arizona to upgrade an aging water system and equipment.
Arizona is also seeing a total of $3.8 million in loans and grants for the Oak Creek Water Company Number 1 in Sedona, designed to replace and extend water lines, including new valves and hydrants.
In Grants, New Mexico, a combined nearly $4 million grant and loan will go for replacing wastewater lines throughout the city; with $461,000 in funding slated for the Alto De Las Flores Mutual Domestic Water Consumers Association to renovate a well, upgrade water lines, and build water line extensions in the town of San Miguel.
Two more New Mexico projects will see the Cottonwood Rural Water Association in Artesia securing a combined more than $4 million grant and loan for the upgrading of distribution lines and service meters, as well as the installation of new fire hydrants.
A final New Mexico project is getting a $1.2 million loan: the Village of Williamsburg, for expanding an existing wastewater delivery system.
The Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant Program is specifically designed to fund sewer, solid waste, and storm water collection projects, as well as drinking water sourcing, treatment, and distribution efforts, all in rural areas.
The funding targets areas and towns with populations of less than 10,000 people, including tribal land projects, also in rural areas.
Under Secretary Brand, in a statement, said that the funding of such projects is important “because we know that when rural America thrives, all of America thrives.”
By Garry Boulard
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