ATHENS, Georgia, Aug. 17, 2018 — State Director for Rural Development Joyce White today announced that USDA is investing $9.1 million to help rebuild and improve Georgia’s rural water infrastructure. The Dade County Water & Sewer Authority and the City of Cave Spring, Floyd County, Georgia are receiving funding.
“Modern, reliable water infrastructure is a necessary foundation for all communities,” White said. “We’re strengthening our partnerships with rural communities to help ensure that rural Georgians have the infrastructure needed to thrive.”
USDA is providing the funding through the Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant program. It can be used to finance drinking water, stormwater drainage and waste disposal systems for rural communities with 10,000 or fewer residents.
USDA announced $124 million in projects in 23 states this week, the following projects in Georgia will receive USDA funding:
- The Dade County Water & Sewer Authority is receiving a $4,889,000 million loan to make water system improvements and upgrades that include adding 0.57 miles of distribution mains and upgrading 2.16 miles of distribution mains. Upgrades include installing energy efficient pumps at the pump stations to provide higher flows and re-coating the storage tank to extend its useful life. The improvements will mean more effective water treatment, reduced operating costs and lower distribution cost for users. The Authority is the only water system operating in the county. It serves 16,633 users.
- City of Cave Spring, Ga will receive a $2,371,000 loan and $1,899,000 grant to make improvements to the city sewer system that include rehabilitating the collection and manhole systems and improving the water pollution control plant. The city is under a consent order from the Georgia Environmental Protection Division due to infiltration from the sewage system. Cave Spring is located in Floyd County and has a population of 1,200. The improvements will benefit 385 residents in the city limits.
Below are examples of other infrastructure projects across the nation that USDA is helping to support.
- In Nettleton, Miss., the Cason Water District is receiving a $2.1 million loan and a $1.9 million grant to install surface water transmission lines from the Northeast Mississippi Water Supply District to the Cason Water District. A booster station, an elevated storage tank and larger distribution lines will also be installed. This project will correct water supply loss and accommodate future growth. The improvements will provide improved water service to 1,657 customers.
- McLouth, Kan., is receiving a $1.3 million loan to improve the city's water infrastructure. The project will replace approximately 9,400 feet of pipe and 4,100 feet of antiquated service line. In addition, 420 old water meters will be replaced with automatic meter readers and control panels at the water treatment facility. The upgrade will serve more than 860 residents.
In FY 2018, Congress provided a historic level of funding for water and wastewater infrastructure. The 2018 Omnibus spending bill includes $5.2 billion for USDA loans and grants, up from $1.8 billion in FY 2017. The bill also directs Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue to make investments in rural communities with the greatest infrastructure needs.
Eligible rural communities and water districts can apply online for funding to maintain, modernize or build water and wastewater systems. They can visit the interactive RD Apply tool, or they can apply through one of USDA Rural Development’s state or field offices.
In April 2017, President Donald J. Trump established the Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity to identify legislative, regulatory and policy changes that could promote agriculture and prosperity in rural communities. In January 2018, Secretary Perdue presented the Task Force’s findings to President Trump. These findings included 31 recommendations to align the federal government with state, local and tribal governments to take advantage of opportunities that exist in rural America. Increasing investments in rural infrastructure is a key recommendation of the task force.
To view the report in its entirety, please view the Report to the President of the United States from the Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity (PDF, 5.4 MB). In addition, to view the categories of the recommendations, please view the Rural Prosperity infographic (PDF, 190 KB).
USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community services such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov.