LIDGERWOOD, ND, Apr 29, 2011 -- Forty-one years ago, a small group of dedicated citizens decided to take action to make their local communities cleaner and healthier, and from this spirit, Earth Day was born. Since then countless Americans have made a positive impact on our planet, and now President Obama is calling on all of us to pitch in.
That same spirit still resonates today as USDA Rural Development State Director Jasper Schneider announces that the city of Lidgerwood was selected as North Dakota’s 2011 Earth Day project. As part of the designation, USDA Rural Development is providing the city with a $251,300 loan to cover the cost overrun and the N.D. Department of Commerce is providing a $23,700 community development block grant (CDBG).
“USDA is proud to partner with the city of Lidgerwood to build and upgrade essential infrastructure for access to safe and reliable drinking water,” said Schneider. “Earth Day reminds us of the critical role USDA can play in confronting challenges of our nation’s natural resources.”
The city began repairing the water system in 2009 and received a $493,000 loan and a $612,000 grant from USDA Rural Development. In addition to the federal funds, the initial project also received a $200,000 community development block grant. The total amount provided by the state and federal government is $1.58 million.
In 1979, the North Dakota State Health Department directed the city to address arsenic in the city’s water supply. With the assistance from EPA, they constructed a water treatment plant and new technology which has proven not to be a long-term solution to the water quality problems. The City explored other options and decided that the best course of action would be to purchase their water from the Southeast Water Users District (SEWUD). Several miles of new six-inch pressure pipe was put down, a reservoir pumping station was constructed, new water meters were installed, and an addition to the present water treatment plant was built. After the project is complete, the rural community of Lidgerwood, North Dakota will have a safe reliable resource of tap water for its 738 residents.
“Through the assistance of the USDA Rural Development, the city of Lidgerwood is completing our project to bring rural water to Lidgerwood residents,” said Steven Oddo, mayor of Lidgerwood. “We are happy to represent North Dakota in its celebration of Earth Day with our Rural Development partners.”
Those attending the Earth Day celebration will first gather in the city’s park where seven Hackberry trees will be planted by school children with instruction by Becky Myhra, district technician, with the Richland County Soil Conservation District. The trees were donated by the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) Plant Materials in Bismarck.