Ag Secretary announces $16.4M for 9 rural water projects

WASHINGTON, DC, Nov. 3, 2009 -- Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the selection of $16.4 million in water and environmental project loans and grants that are being funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act...

Nov 4th, 2009

• Recovery Act funds will help improve infrastructure in rural areas of nine states

WASHINGTON, DC, Nov. 3, 2009 -- Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the selection of $16.4 million in water and environmental project loans and grants that are being funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The projects will help provide safe drinking water and improved wastewater treatment systems for rural towns and communities in nine states. Altogether, USDA has announced nearly $1.8 billion for water and environmental project loans and grants, benefiting people throughout the country.

"The Recovery Act water and wastewater projects we are announcing today further the Obama Administration's goal of rebuilding and revitalizing the nation's rural infrastructure," Vilsack said. "These nine projects will put people to work, improve the health of families and communities, and protect our environment for future generations."

In Elko County, Nev., the Town of Jackpot has been selected to receive a $695,000 loan to help bring Jackpot's water system into compliance with State drinking water requirements. In 2007, excessive levels of uranium were found in the drinking water. The funds will be used to install a new well and well house, two booster pumps, meters for the entire system and backup electrical generation for two wells. The town of Jackpot is located in northern Elko County near the Nevada/Idaho state line and serves 1,326 residents.

The Chelsea Economic Development Authority in Rogers County, Okla., has been selected to receive a $6.6 million loan for system upgrades, a lab monitoring systems and a Sequence Batch Reactor treatment facility. The current wastewater system is under a consent order for exceeding discharge limits of wastewater into the receiving stream, a water source for habitat and downstream communities.

See a Recovery Act Success Story for a previously announced water and environmental project in Oklahoma by visiting www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vgvs2MBcri0.

The ARRA funding announced today is being administered by USDA Rural Development's Water and Environmental Program which provides loans and grants to ensure that the necessary investments are made in water and wastewater infrastructure to deliver safe drinking water and protect the environment in rural areas.

Funding of individual recipients is contingent upon their meeting the terms of the loan or grant agreement. Below is a complete list of award recipients, by state:

• Alaska - Chefornak Traditional Council - $85,000 grant
• Massachusetts - Town of Winchendon - $1,480,000 loan, $980,000 grant
• Maine - City of Brewer - $1,775,000 loan, $1,375,000 grant
• North Carolina - Town of Pink Hill - $372,000 loan, $688,000 grant
• New Jersey - Wrightstown Municipal Utilities Authority - $621,247 grant
• Nevada - Elko County (Jackpot, Town of) - $695,000 loan
• Oklahoma - Chelsea Economic Development Authority - $3,791,000 loan, $2,826,900 grant
• Texas - RPM Water Supply Corporation - $1,117,000 loan, $310,000 grant
• Virginia - Carroll County Public Service Authority - $183,000 loan, $155,000 grant

President Obama signed The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 into law on Feb. 17, 2009. It is designed to jumpstart the nation's economy, create or save millions of jobs and put a down payment on addressing long-neglected challenges so our country can thrive in the 21st century. The Act includes measures to modernize our nation's infrastructure, enhance energy independence, expand educational opportunities, preserve and improve affordable health care, provide tax relief, and protect those in greatest need.

More information about USDA's Recovery Act efforts is available at www.usda.gov/recovery. More information about the Federal government's efforts on the Recovery Act is available at www.recovery.gov.

USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender.

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