USDA invests $35 million in rural water, energy, and biofuel infrastructure in Missouri

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U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development Missouri Acting State Director D Clark Thomas announced the agency is investing $35,046,000 in critical infrastructure that will help rural Missouri communities build back better and stronger while prioritizing climate-smart solutions and environmental stewardship. USDA is making the investments under the Water and Environmental Program, the Rural Energy for America Program, and the Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program.

“USDA Rural Development is committed to improving the lives of rural Missourians on Earth Day and every day,” Thomas said. “Environmentally friendly infrastructure investments, like those announced today, positively impact our small towns, provide employment opportunities to rural residents, and demonstrate our commitment to rural America.”

The announcement includes investments in:

Rural Water and Wastewater Infrastructure:

  • The city of Duenweg will use a $1,869,000 loan and $2,029,000 grant to make improvements to the city’s wastewater system. As a cost-saving measure, Duenweg officials will move the city’s wastewater treatment to the regional Center Creek Treatment Facility. Improvements include installation of a primary lift station, three smaller lift stations, a holding tank, and more than seven miles of 15-inch force mainline. When complete, the improvements will provide an economical and more reliable system for all residents in Duenweg.
  • The city of Unionville is decommissioning its water treatment plant due to the increasing cost of operations, maintenance, and continuing compliance and will use a $2,223,000 loan to connect the city to Rathbun Regional Water Association, who will begin providing finished water to Unionville. RRWA will install two elevated water storage tanks, three booster pump stations, and 24 miles of piping to connect Unionville to the RRWA system. Upon completion of this regional project, the new connection to RRWA will ensure Unionville residents have access to clean potable water for generations to come.
  • Public Water Supply District (PWSD) No. 1 of Putnam County, Missouri will also connect to RRWA for finished water with the assistance of a $3,295,000 loan and $1,735,000 grant. RRWA will install 25 miles of water line from its system to a new connection point on the district’s distribution system, two 500,000-gallon elevated water storage tanks, and three booster pump stations. Once completed, this connection will provide a safe, dependable source of potable water for district customers. 
  • Public Water Supply District (PWSD) No. 5 of Stoddard County, Missouri will use a $1,535,000 loan and $1,055,000 grant to make improvements to its drinking water production, storage, and distribution system. By drilling two new wells, the district will once again be able to provide its own quality water and no longer need to purchase it from a nearby community. Additional improvements include repainting the standpipe, installing new 6-inch water main from the new wells to the standpipe, and installing new radio read water meters. These improvements will help bring potable water to district customers as effectively and efficiently as possible.
  • Public Water Supply District (PWSD) No. 4 of Stoddard County, Missouri will use a $930,000 loan and $640,000 grant to make improvements to the district’s drinking water system. Originally constructed in 1974, the district has worked to replace some of the worst sections of its aging distribution lines and make other improvements. This project will continue that trend and will replace six miles of water distribution line in addition to drilling a new well for improved water pressures. The district is working to repair or replace inefficiencies in its system to improve the overall system for its customers.
  • Jefferson County Public Sewer District will use a $19.5 million loan to improve and expand the Lower Big River Wastewater Treatment Facility. Planned improvements include constructing a 300,000 gallon per day treatment unit, four miles of new pipes, and incorporating 31 individual residential septic systems into the district’s customer base. This project will provide a safer and more reliable wastewater treatment and collection system, accommodate additional future capacity, and ensure compliance with state regulations.

Renewable Energy in Rural Communities:

  • The Missouri Clean Energy District will use a $100,000 grant to conduct approximately 50 energy audits or solar renewable energy site assessments for rural small businesses and agricultural producers throughout the state of Missouri. These audits and site assessments will provide analysis to make energy-efficiency improvements to these operations and/or install renewable energy systems.

Biofuel Infrastructure:

  • A $135,000 grant will assist MFA Oil Company, a fuel distribution facility, create infrastructure to expand the sales and use of renewable fuels. MFA will install a 15,000-gallon biodiesel storage tank, loading equipment, and site controller at two locations in Missouri, Sikeston, and Palmyra. This project projects to increase the amount of biodiesel sold by more than 16.5 million gallons per year.

Today’s announcement came as part of a larger, nationwide Earth Day announcement from Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Justin Maxson where he announced USDA is investing $487 million in critical infrastructure that will help communities in 45 states.

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.