GRACEVILLE, Apr 26, 2013 -- Rural Development
375 Jackson Street | Suite 410
St. Paul, Minnesota, 55101
Release No.: 00004
Nikki Gillespie, (651) 602-7786
City of Graceville Selected to Receive $2.2 Million in USDA Rural Development Funds for Water Treatment Project
Funding Announced During Earth Day Event at Graceville City Hall
GRACEVILLE, Minn., April 26 – USDA Rural Development officials visited Graceville today to announce over $2.2 million in financing to to improve the city’s water treatment and supply facility. The funding comes in the form of a $1,940,000 loan and a $263,000 grant. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) remains focused on carrying out its mission, despite a time of significant budget uncertainty. Today’s announcement is one part of the Department’s efforts to strengthen the rural economy.
Rural Development funding will help the city replace aging infrastructure that has reached the end of its useful life. Funding will also help the city replace its original water tower. The event to announce the funding was part of USDA’s annual Earth Day celebration, which recognizes projects in rural communities that improve or maintain a healthy and clean environment.
“Modern infrastructure builds safe, sustainable and thriving rural communities,” Kevin Friesen, USDA Rural Development Area Specialist working with city officials on the project, said. “Safe and secure drinking water is a necessary tool for long-term growth in small communities.”
Originally, Graceville had hoped to simply make repairs to their original water tower, built in 1914. However, due to leaks, lack of safety rails due to erosion, hazardous lead paint on the outer surface, and deteriorating inner lining, the cost to repair the facility would be substanitally more than tearing it down and building a new tower.
In addition, the town’s water meters are 20 years old and still need to be read by visiting each house, which costs time and money. Due to these old water meters, the town loses approximately twenty-five percent of the water pumped per year.
“With the assistance of the loan and grant package from USDA Rural Development, the city of Graceville is able to provide quality affordable and quality drinking water its members and surrounding communities,” Gracville mayor Audrey Rahrlien said. “Projects like these have a drastic impact on the sustainability of rural communities like ours.”
USDA Rural Development has invested over $206 million throughout Minnesota since 2009 to improve drinking water and wastewater treatment. Rural Development also finances housing, businesses, community facilities and other projects in rural areas. To learn more, visit www.rurdev.usda.gov/mn, or call the local office in Willmar at (320) 235-5612, ext. 4.
USDA has made a concerted effort to deliver results for the American people, even as USDA implements sequestration – the across-the-board budget reductions mandated under terms of the Budget Control Act. USDA has already undertaken historic efforts since 2009 to save more than $700 million in taxpayer funds through targeted, common-sense budget reductions. These reductions have put USDA in a better position to carry out its mission, while implementing sequester budget reductions in a fair manner that causes as little disruption as possible.
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)