ST. PAUL, Minn., Dec 06, 2013 -- Rural Development
375 Jackson Street | Suite 410
St. Paul, Minnesota, 55101
Release No.: 00023
Nikki Gillespie, (651) 602-7786
USDA Officials Announce Projects to Improve Water Quality
4 Projects in Minnesota Will Improve Service for More than 1,000 Rural Residents
ST. PAUL, Minn. – USDA Rural Development State Director Colleen Landkamer today announced funding for four projects throughout Minnesota to finance investments in improved water and wastewater systems for more than 1,000 rural residents.
“Rural businesses and residents need access to clean water and modern waste disposal systems. This isn’t just an economic issue, it’s an issue of basic health and safety,” said Landkamer. “Water and wastewater projects like these help safeguard rural access to a modern, working infrastructure, which in turn ensures a decent quality of life and helps attract – and keep – the best and brightest in small towns across Minnesota.”
Landkamer noted that passage of a comprehensive Food, Farm and Jobs bill would help tackle the $2.1 billion backlog of shovel-ready rural water/wastewater projects like these across the nation, and said the bill is vital to rural communities. These are just some of the reasons why Congress should pass a comprehensive bill as soon as possible, she said.
In today’s announcement, USDA is providing over $5.4 million to finance 4 water and infrastructure improvement projects in Minnesota. For example, Longville, Minn., has been selected to receive a $670,000 loan/grant combination to upgrade a water treatment system that serves more than 150 residents in one of the poorest parts of the state. In St. Martin, Minn. the city is getting a $3.1 million loan/grant combination to make extensive improvements to the city’s aging wastewater infrastructure and replace its public water supply wells. The project will provide clean, safe water for more than 300 residents.
The funding is being provided through USDA Rural Development’s Water and Wastewater Environmental Program. It will have a significant impact on rural residents and businesses – as it did for the nearly 500 people who live and work near the Bertha, Minn. At the start of the Obama Administration, USDA Rural Development awarded the town over $5.4 million in Recovery Act loans and grants to make significant wastewater infrastrucutre improvements to meet environmental standards. The project had benefits beyond improved wastewater services for local residents and businesses.
The Bertha project is one of nearly 220 water and wastewater projects authorized by the Farm Bill that Rural Development has financed throughout Minnesota since 2009.
View the list of projects from Minnesota and nationwide that will receive USDA funding, contingent upon the recipient meeting the terms of the funding agreement, at www.rurdev.usda.gov/supportdocuments/rdwepdecember2013.pdf.
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.
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