Crawford, GA, Jul 21, 2011 -- (Crawford, July 21, 2011) – Officials from USDA Rural Development joined local leaders and members of the community this morning to break ground for the new wastewater treatment plant. USDA Rural Development provided a loan of $3,239,000 and a grant of $4 million for the plant. The City contributed $545,000.
"It is exciting to see this much-needed project going forward," said Donnie Thomas, acting state director of USDA Rural Development. "Infrastructure is very expensive and requires a serious commitment on the part of community leaders. But it is critical for safety, as well as growing the economy."
The existing system, which has been operating under a Consent Order from Georgia's EPD since November of 2007, includes two oxidation ponds permitted for 67,000 gallons per day (g.p.d.). Both are exceeding capacity and will be abandoned when the new 250,000 g.p.d. plant is operational. The initial capacity will be 150,000 G.P.D. The Oglethorpe County Board of Education and the City of Lexington also expect to receive benefits from this project, which will allow them to abandon their individual systems, which are outdated and insufficient, and connect to the City of Crawford's new system.
"We're happy to get to partner on this important project and provide the needed funding," said Jane Ferguson, area director for USDA Rural Development in Monroe. "Everyone is safer with a project like this, and it's easier to attract businesses."
USDA Rural Development has six area offices around the state to administer loan and grant programs to stimulate the economy and improve the quality of life in rural areas. Ferguson is responsible for Area 2, which encompasses 27 counties in NE Georgia. For more information on Rural Development in Georgia, visit http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/ga.
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