$2 million announced for water line improvements


February 20, 2009 - COOKEVILLE, Tenn.—USDA Rural Development Area Director Joe Woody joined Cookeville Boat Dock Road Utility District Chairman Hubert Allison to announce a federal investment of $2,050,000 to upgrade capacity and improve service in southwest Putnam County. The event was held at the utility’s office in Cookeville.


"Safe, reliable water is a basic necessity for families and businesses," said Woody. "Thanks to the support of our Congressmen like Bart Gordon, Rural Development has the financial resources to help local leaders improve the quality of life with critical infrastructure like this."


A Rural Development loan of $1,650,000 and grant of $400,000 will fund the project. Deteriorating existing water lines will be replaced with larger capacity lines throughout the middle section of the utility’s service area. The plan includes work on Moss Road, Mine Lick Creek Road, Ditty Road, Cowan Road, Stewart Road, Old Stewart Road, Holladay Road and Lee Seminary Road.


In an earlier release, Rep. Gordon said, "There are far too many residents in Putnam County and the neighboring counties that do not have access to clean water. While this USDA funding is a step in the right direction, I am committed to getting the resources needed to supply public water services to every household."


The project will improve water pressure in these areas and help meet growing demand from homes and businesses. The project will also minimize water loss from the system. Work on the extension is scheduled to be completed by late fall.


Cookeville Boat Dock Road Utility District serves more than 2,700 rural customers. Currently the utility purchases about 20 million gallons of water per month from the City of Cookeville.


Rural Development’s community programs provide rural areas with financial resources to construct or improve essential services like reliable access to clean water, sewer, healthcare, education, job training and first responder facilities. 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 essential infrastructure needs. Funding for water and wastewater projects targets areas with a population of less than 10,000. Other community programs serve areas with a population of less than 20,000.


Others participating in the event included Rep. Bart Gordon’s representative Billy Smith, and RD Area Office staff Jerry Jolley, and Alice Wills.


Committed to the future of rural communities in Tennessee, USDA Rural Development invests financial and technical assistance through housing, community and business development programs.  In Fiscal Year 2008 Rural Development assisted more than 678,000 Tennessee families and businesses with more than $435 million in financial assistance through loans, loan guarantees and grants.


For more information on Rural Development programs available in Putnam County contact the Area Office in Cookeville at 931-528-6539, ext 2, toll free at (800) 342-3149 ext. 1493, or online at www.rurdev.usda.gov/tn.