Temple, Texas, Apr 08, 2014 -- USDA Rural Development recently simplified the application process for communities applying for the Emergency and Imminent Community Water Assistance Grant (ECWAG) if the the need for funding is not anticipated. This program provides funds to assist rural communities that have experienced a significant decline in quantity or quality of water, or in which such decline is considered imminent. Funds may be used for a number of purposes related to water supply issues caused by an emergency.
“USDA Rural Development offers programs, such as the Emergency and Imminent Community Water Assistance Grant, that may reduce the impact unexpected disruptions of water services have on families, businesses and producers in rural Texas communities,” said Paco Valentin, USDA Rural Development Texas State Director.
Under the ECWAG program, funds may be used in incorporated communities of less than 10,000 residents or any unincorporated area. Eligible applicants include public bodies, private nonprofit corporations, and Federally-recognized Indian tribes. Applicants must possess the legal authority to own and operate the water facility, and must document the emergency that caused the problem.
The maximum grant is $150,000 for repairs, partial replacement, or significant maintenance on an established system, or $500,000 to alleviate a significant decline in quantity or quality of water that occurred within two years of filing an ECWAG application, or an attempt to avoid a significant decline that is expected to occur during the 12-month period following the filing of an application.
Applications must demonstrate need for the grant based on median household income. The proposed project cannot contain project costs that are eligible for funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency or contain costs that are covered by the applicant’s insurance. The applicant must also demonstrate financial need.
Upon receipt, applications will be reviewed to determine eligibility for the simplified application process, meaning the project must not anticipate the need for additional regular loan or grant funding from USDA to resolve the emergency. If eligible for the simplified process, assistance and processing will be provided by the USDA Rural Development Texas State Office and sent to the National Office for funding upon availability. Once the application is approved, the applicant may be reimbursed for eligible project costs that are incurred within six months of the date the application was filed.
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 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.
For information on this and other USDA Rural Development programs in Texas, visit http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/TX.html.