News Release
Release No.STELPRD4022995
ContactDavid Glasgow615-783-1300
FRIENDSVILLE, Feb 21, 2014 --

@@USDA Rural Development Area Director Joe Woody today joined Friendsville Mayor Andy Lawhorn to announce funding for needed improvements to the city water system. The announcement was made at utility’s office at City Hall in Friendsville.

A USDA Rural Development (RD) loan of $657,000 and $78,000 in matching funds from the City will be used make public water available for up to 140 households and businesses whose current individual water sources are not always safe or reliable. Funds will also be used to install approximately 1600 Automatic Read Meters that will increase accuracy and reduce operational expenses for the District.

USDA Rural Development community programs finance construction and improvements to essential services like reliable access to clean water, wastewater treatment, healthcare, community development, education, job training and first responder facilities and equipment. Loan-guarantees encourage private lenders to expand the availability of affordable financing in rural communities. Direct loans and grants create sound financial opportunities for local governments to meet other essential community service needs.

Others participating in the announcement included Friendsville Waterworks Operations Manager Brian Amanns, Manager Benny Stewart and Office manager Gayla Hatcher; Rep. John Duncan’s Representative Vickie Flynn; Blount County Mayor Ed Mitchell; Friendsville City Recorder Janet Ledbetter, and RD Water Program Specialists Allen Hawk and Mary Short.

USDA Rural Development invests in jobs, infrastructure, community development, health, education, homeownership and affordable rental housing to improve the economic health of rural communities. During the last four years the agency has assisted more than 1.5 million Tennessee families and businesses in 158 communities, investing more than $3.7 Billion into local economies through affordable loans, loan guarantees and grants.

For more information on Rural Development programs available in East Tennessee contact the Rural Development Area Office in Knoxville at 865-523-3338 x4, toll free (800) 342-3149 x1493, in Greeneville at 423-638-4771 x4, (800) 342-3149 x1490 or find more details at


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).