News Release
Release No.STELPRD4018671
ContactSarah Marquart916-798-9295
(SEPTEMBER 13, 2012) AGRICULTURE SECRETARY VILSACK ANNOUNCES FUNDING TO CREATE JOBS AND IMPROVE RURAL WATER SYSTEMS
DES MOINES, Iowa, Sep 13, 2012 --

@@Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced funding for rural water projects to create jobs and improve rural water and wastewater systems in 16 states, including California.

"These improvements to rural water infrastructure will provide reliable access to clean water, improving public health while creating jobs that strengthen rural economies," Vilsack said. "The Obama Administration is working to support creation of a vibrant, sustainable rural America and clean water is a basic necessity for the health and economic growth of our rural communities."

Locally, the Rio Alto Water District was selected to receive a $5 million low interest loan to make improvements to the Lake California Wastewater Treatment Plant. The project will also include redirecting the plant's treated effluent from discharging into the Sacramento River to a new 77-acre wetland they will construct. Additional funding for this project is provided by the Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Water State Revolving Fund.

The $54 million in loans and $19 million in grants are being provided by USDA Rural Development's Rural Utilities Service (RUS) to help rural communities build and upgrade rural water systems. RUS funding provides thousands of new connections to water and wastewater facilities to improve water quality, increase the efficiency of water use, and reduce usage.

For a complete list of projects funded, click here. Funding is contingent on recipients meeting the terms of the loan and grant agreements. For more information on the Water and Environment Program please visit http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/UWEP_HomePage.html.

For additional information on RD 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.

President Obama's plan for rural America has brought about historic investment and resulted in stronger rural communities. Under the President's leadership, these investments in housing, community facilities, businesses and infrastructure have empowered rural America to continue leading the way – strengthening America's economy, small towns and rural communities. USDA's investments in rural communities support the rural way of life that stands as the backbone of our American values. President Obama and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack are committed to a smarter use of Federal resources to foster sustainable economic prosperity and ensure the government is a strong partner for businesses, entrepreneurs and working families in rural communities.

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.

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