Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Anne Hazlett announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture is investing $256 million in 81 projects to improve water and wastewater infrastructure in rural areas in 35 states. Missouri State Director Jeff Case is pleased to announce that over $10 million was invested into rural Missouri communities.
“Rural Missourians, along with residents of every community in our great nation, rely on solid, reliable infrastructure for their communities to thrive, grow, and succeed,” said Case. “Through strong partnerships, USDA is ensuring that rural Missouri communities have the dependable infrastructure they need to prosper.”
Missouri is receiving 7 of the 81 rural water and wastewater infrastructure projects Hazlett announced. The City of Neelyville, for example, is a truly rural, small town in Southeast Missouri. In addition to a $200,000 USDA loan, the City is receiving funding from two partner agencies, Community Development Block Grant and Delta Regional Authority. The funding will be used to make improvements to the City’s wastewater treatment facility and collection system as well as replacing lift stations and grinder pumps. These improvements will ensure that Neelyville’s 483 residents have a safe, reliable wastewater system.
The recently enacted Fiscal Year 2018 Omnibus spending bill includes a significant boost in financial support for water and wastewater projects. It provides $5.2 billion for USDA loans and grants, up from $1.2 billion in FY 2017. It also directs Agriculture Secretary Perdue to make investments in rural communities with the greatest infrastructure needs.
In addition to funding in the 2018 Omnibus bill, President Trump has proposed a $200 billion infrastructure investment that allocates 25 percent ($50 billion) to rural projects.
The loans and grants Hazlett announced today are being awarded through USDA’s Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant program. The funds can be used to finance drinking water, stormwater drainage and waste disposal systems for rural communities with 10,000 or fewer residents.
Other Missouri awards announced today include:
- $918,000 for Missouri City to make improvements to the City’s aging water system. The project also includes funding from Community Development Block Grant and will ultimately provide safe and improved water quality for Missouri City’s 267 residents.
- $2 million for the City of Oronogo, population 2,381, to improve its wastewater system for the City’s 864 water customers.
- $416,000 for the Village of Preston to provide improvements to Preston’s aging water storage and treatment system, ensuring the Village’s 223 users have access to safe, reliable drinking water.
- $450,000 for the City of Russellville to improve its sewer treatment system. Funds from Community Development Block Grant will also assist the City to improve the system for its 286 residential users.
- A $922,000 loan and $653,000 grant for the City of Wardell, population 427, to make improvements to the City’s wastewater treatment system to meet Missouri Department of Natural Resources’ water quality requirements.
- A $3.363 million loan and $2.129 million grant to the City of Leadwood to complete improvement to the City’s water system. Along with USDA’s investment, partner funds from Community Development Block Grant and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources were also awarded.
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.
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 healthcare; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov.