CROSSVILLE, Tenn., Apr 25, 2011 -- Trees are often planted on Earth Day to help mitigate run-off into the lakes and rivers where we get our drinking water. But, aging infrastructure can be an even bigger threat to the reliability of a community's water resources.
Today, at Meadow Park Dam USDA Rural Development State Director Bobby Goode, Crossville Mayor J.H. Graham III, Cumberland County Mayor Kenneth Carey and other local leaders celebrated Earth Day by announcing $5.6 million in federal funding for needed improvements to the county's primary source of clean water.
"Safe, reliable water is vital to the future of every healthy community," said Goode. "Making these infrastructure investments puts people to work now and it lays the foundation for improved safety and sustainable growth in this area through the next generation."
Rural Development funding for structural improvements to the dam includes low-interest loans for $4,505,000 and grants of $1,095,000.
According to Graham, Crossville has been the main supplier of water in Cumberland County since construction of the Dam in 1938. "The limited water resources available on the Plateau make it even more important that this infrastructure investment gets made while there is time."
"Renovating Meadow Park Dam has much less impact on the environment and is much more cost-effective than building a new water impoundment for the region," Graham said.
Rural Development community programs finance construction or improvements to essential services like reliable access to clean water, wastewater treatment, healthcare, education, job training and first responder facilities. Loan-guarantees encourage private lenders to expand the availability of affordable financing in rural communities. Direct loans and grants create sound financial opportunities for local governments to meet essential infrastructure needs. Funding for water projects targets areas with populations of less than 10,000.
Others who participated in the event included Rep. Scott DesJarlais' Representative Greg Ridley, and RD Area Director Jerry Jolley and Specialist Chris Hampton.
USDA Rural Development invests in jobs, businesses, community infrastructure, homeownership and affordable rental housing in rural communities. Last year Rural Development assisted more than 1.5 million rural Tennessee families and businesses with more than $1.06 billion in financial assistance through affordable loans, loan-guarantees and grants.
For more information on Rural Development programs available in the Cumberland County area contact the Rural Development Area Office in Cookeville at 931-342-3149 ext. 2, toll free at (800) 342-3149 ext. 1493 or online at www.rurdev.usda.gov/tn.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender. To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410,
or call (800) 795-3272 TDD (615) 783-1397.