12-04-18 USDA Invests in Water and Wastewater Infrastructure in 46 States, including CO

USDA Invests in Water and Wastewater Infrastructure in 46 States, including CO

Projects Will Benefit nearly 900 Rural Colorado Residents

WASHINGTON, Dec. 4, 2018 – Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Anne Hazlett today announced that USDA is investing $1.2 billion (PDF, 509 KB) to help rebuild and improve rural water infrastructure for 936,000 rural Americans living in 46 states.

“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 Rural Development Colorado State Director Sallie Clark announced today that USDA is investing over $16.5 million in Colorado to improve water and wastewater facilities in three Colorado communities.

“Having access to both safe drinking water and waste disposal systems is a vital piece of public health and economic prosperity for our rural communities,” said Clark. “The funding awarded today will assist the Towns of Westcliffe, Estes Park, and Romeo with upgrades and replacements to their water and sewer systems,” said Clark.

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.

Eligible communities and water districts can apply online on the interactive RD Applytool, or they can apply through one of USDA Rural Development’s state or field offices.

Below are some examples of the investments USDA is making here in Colorado:

  • In Colorado: Round Mountain Water & Sanitation District – $2,651,000 $2,275,000 This Rural Development investment will be used renovate the community’s wastewater system. The district will purchase and install a mechanical wastewater treatment system and will construct a new office and storage facility for operations. The new system will serve 620 users.
  • In Colorado: Town of Estes Park $4,493,000 $6,547,000 This Rural Development investment will be used to upgrade the Prospect Mountain Water Company’s distribution system to standards and requirements required by the Town of Estes Park. Once the improvements take place, the town will absorb the additional 128 users into its regional system (of 5,000+ users). This consolidation will result in a stronger, more sustainable system long-term. Additional funding for this project includes $25,000 from the Department of Local Affairs and a $45,000 applicant contribution.
  • In Colorado: Town of Romeo $175,000 $383,700 This Rural Development investment will be used to replace the pump system with a constant pressure system and replace meters with remote meters. The disinfection system will be upgraded, and a backup generator will be installed for emergency purposes. Wastewater improvements will include replacing the ultra-sonic flow measurement device and controls for influent and effluent metering locations. The water project will assist 149 residents and two businesses. The sewer portion of the project will assist 119 residential users.

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. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov.

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