Eagle Butte, Sep 25, 2012 -- Today, USDA State Director for Rural Development Elsie Meeks announced that Mni Waste Water Company had been selected to receive a Water and Environmental grant to improve drinking water quality and promote economic development. The funding will be used to provide safe, clean water for community residents. Mni Waste’ Water Company serves the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation including areas of Dewey, Ziebach and Meade counties.
“Nothing is more important than water. This funding will complete the water system that will provide a much needed resource to the Cheyenne River Reservation,” said Meeks. “With this funding Mni Waste’ Water Company can achieve its goal of providing sufficient, safe water to existing users on the reservation and adjacent areas in Meade and Perkins Counties.”
Meeks said the Tribe can’t currently build new houses because additional water is not available. This water project will allow 316 homes to be constructed immediately, some of which will provide housing for staff at the recently completed hospital in Eagle Butte. Additionally, the Cheyenne River Housing Authority currently has a waiting list of 685 families in need of housing The area is experiencing population growth and the community may contain up to 15,000 residents by 2035.
The Mni Waste Water Company was selected to receive a Rural Development Water and Waste Disposal grant of $21 million, along with a Native America grant of $5.4 million. The federal funding will be leveraged with tribal contributions of $7 million. The first two phases of the project covered the water main lines and the treated water pipeline. The third phase will construct the water treatment plant.
Since 2009, USDA has provided more than $8.1 billion in investment to bring modern, updated water and waste water capacity to thousands of rural communities – helping to safeguard the health and wellbeing of millions.
For additional information on Rural Development projects, please visit Rural Development’s new interactive web map featuring program funding and success stories for fiscal years 2009-2011. The data can be found at: http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/RDSuccessStories.html.
Since taking office, President Obama's Administration has taken historic steps to improve the lives of rural Americans, put people back to work and build thriving economies in rural communities. From proposing the American Jobs Act to establishing the first-ever White House Rural Council the President is committed to a smarter use of existing Federal resources to foster sustainable economic prosperity and ensure the government is a strong partner for businesses, entrepreneurs and working families in rural communities. The Rural Council is working to break down silos of information and to find areas for better collaboration and improved flexibility in administering government programs and to work closer with local tribal and non-tribal governments, non-profits and private companies to leverage federal support to enhance the services offered to rural beneficiaries. Under Secretary Vilsack's leadership, USDA has instituted a comprehensive plan to strengthen the Department as a model service provider and to ensure that every farmer and rancher is treated equally and fairly as part of "a new era of civil rights" at USDA. He and President Obama have made it a priority to resolve all of the past civil rights cases facing the Department.
USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, administers and manages housing, business and community infrastructure programs through a national network of state and local offices. Rural Development has an active portfolio of more than $172 billion in loans and loan guarantees. These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (866) 632-9992 (Toll-free Customer Service), (800) 877-8339 (Local or Federal relay), (866) 377-8642 (Relay voice users).