News Release
Release No.STELPRD4021320
Lexington, Kentucky, Jun 19, 2013 --

@@USDA Rural Development State Director Tom Fern has announced $3,043,000 in USDA funds ($2,282,000 loan/ $761,000 grant) to upgrade the City of Hazard’s water infrastructure. The United States Department of Agriculture 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 funds will be used to assist with the financing of upgrades to the existing water treatment plant, including a new water intake, telemetry system update, and general repairs to the plant facility itself, such as roof/ceiling, piping, electrical components, and dredging/material removal. The project includes the construction of two new water storage tanks having a total capacity of 800,000 gallons, the construction of two new pump stations, and the installation of 3,000 LF of waterline, the latter to tie-in with the Breathitt County Water District and at Combs. These improvements will allow the city to meet the current and future demands of their approximately 8,644 existing customers in rural Perry County, one of Kentucky’s persistent poverty counties. The repayment terms for the loan portion are forty years at an interest rate of 2.125 percent. The USDA funds will be supplemented by funding through the Commonwealth of Kentucky – Department for Local Government (Community Development Block Grant through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development) and the Appalachian Regional Commission. The total project cost is estimated to be $4,543,000.

“Access to clean, safe and reliable water is critical to improving the quality of life for rural Kentuckians,” said Fern. “USDA is proud to work in partnership with our state and Federal partners and the City of Hazard to make these important upgrades to the community’s water system.”

For information on other projects funded by USDA Rural Development, please visit Rural Development’s interactive web map featuring program funding and success stories for fiscal years 2009-2012. The data can be found at:

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, which 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 and facility programs through a national network of state and local offices. 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 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 $828 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.