|Mar 31, 2011 --
Outline Of Need:
The City of Fairfax, City of Rock Port, City of Tarkio and the Atchison PWSD#1 were faced with problems of antiquated facilities, tougher regulations, rising costs of producing water, as well as the realization that each on their own could not afford separate systems. Additionally, the Community Hospital of Fairfax which had been in existence since 1949 and still very much needed in the region, was beyond repair of the existing building and without the region addressing the water problems, the Hospital would not be able to operate.
How Rural Development Helped:
USDA Rural Development made an investment in this northwest region of Missouri of almost $39,000,000 for a new hospital, regional wholesale water system, and city distribution system. The funding to Atchison County Wholesale Water Commission was through President Obama's American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) in the amount of $12,000,000 in loan and $10,000,000 in grant funds. This project includes new water supply wells, new water treatment plant, new distribution lines and storage facility. This system will sell water to all entities. Another $1,629,410 in ARRA funds was provided to the City of Fairfax to make distribution system improvements and reach the new Fairfax Hospital also financed by RD with a $15,000,000Guaranteed Community Facilities loan. Another $5,100,000 was provided by the hospital and their Community Health Care Foundation.
Safe, reliable water and state-of-the-art health care are key to sustaining life in rural America. Because of the partnering of all four communities and water purchasers working together with the Atchison County Wholesale Water Commission, the water rates for the rural users are affordable and they have a safe, adequate water supply. Additionally, the community was able to proceed with building a new Critical Care Access Hospital to provide comprehensive patient care including acute care, and 24 hour health care for rural residents of Atchison County. Without this strategic partnering the economic development of this area would have been gone and quite possibly, these small communities. The hospital would not have happened without the water improvements, the water district would not have been successful without the hospital to justify the costs to the end users, the water could not have gone from the Atchison County Wholesale Water District to the residents of the City of Fairfax and the hospital if the City of Fairfax had not replaced the distribution lines. These entities worked together as strategic partners to address the issues of their region with RD being the glue that helped make it possible for them to build the future for Atchison County residents and communities.