DOVER, Tenn., Apr 17, 2012 -- One year after the partnership between USDA Rural Development (RD) and North Stewart Utility District (NSUD) was announced, ground is being broken on the new water treatment plant geared at providing more than 6,100 residents and businesses improved public water service.
RD State Director Bobby Goode joined Stewart County Mayor Rick Joiner at the construction site for the new plant to officially break ground beginning the construction phase of the project.
NSUD currently relies on water bought through Woodlawn UD from the City of Clarkesville. Long transportation distances and the large service area of more than 90 square miles have periodically resulted in poor water pressure that is inadequate to meet the area's fire protection and other needs.
"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 financing includes a $4,789,000 low-interest infrastructure loan and a $2,641,750 grant. According to NSUD Office Manager Jenny Hyde, the treatment plant will be capable of processing an average of 432,000 gallons of clean water a day and storing more than 600,000 gallons. About two miles of new transmission lines and a pump station on the Cumberland River will complete the project.
Others who participated in the event included Rep. Stephen Fincher’s Representative Mary Littleton, Rep. Marsha Blackburn’s Representative Steve Allbrooks, NSUD President Paul Page, NSUD Commissioners Eric Watkins and Gilbert Vaughan, NSUD Manager Steve Atkins, Project Engineer Neal Westerman, F&M Bank Branch Manager Bryan Watson, RD Area Director Christopher Westbrook, RD Loan Specialist Terence McGhee and RD Area Specialist Lola Maratita.
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.
USDA Rural Development invests in jobs, infrastructure, community development, homeownership and affordable rental housing to improve the economic health of rural communities. During the last three years the agency has assisted at least 1.5 million Tennessee families and businesses in 158 communities, investing more than $2.5 Billion through affordable loans, loan guarantees and grants.
For more information on Rural Development programs available in the Stewart County area contact the Rural Development Area Office in Nashville at 615-783-1359, toll free at 1-800-342-3149 extension 1359, or visit us 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