Ag Secretary announces $190M for rural water projects

WASHINGTON, DC, Oct. 6, 2009 -- Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the selection of $190 million in water and environmental project loans and grants that are being funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act...

• Recovery Act funds will help improve infrastructure in rural areas of 17 states

WASHINGTON, DC, Oct. 6, 2009 -- Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the selection of $190 million in water and environmental project loans and grants that are being funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Dallas Tonsager, Under Secretary for Rural Development, made the announcement on behalf of Vilsack during a speech at the National Rural Water Association meeting in Louisville, Ky.

"Recovery Act projects are putting people to work and helping rural communities of all sizes build a foundation for economic strength and future prosperity," said Tonsager. "The 27 water and wastewater projects we're announcing today are helping to achieve the Obama Administration's economic recovery goals to rebuild and revitalize the nation's infrastructure while creating or retaining jobs."

Altogether, USDA has announced $1.8 billion for water and environmental project loans and grants, benefiting people throughout the country.

The City of Washougal in Clarke County, Wash., will receive a $3 million loan to construct a one million gallon water reservoir. This small community is located on the Washington side of the Columbia River, with its lowlands and famous prairie situated on the west entrance to the scenic Columbia River Gorge. Recently, Washougal has experienced rapid growth and is in need of additional water storage to meet the expanding population. ARRA Funds will be used to fully fund the purchase and installation of the new water reservoir.

In Tyner, Ky., the Jackson County Water Association Inc. was selected to receive $5.14 million in grant and loan funding to construct water and environmental infrastructure projects. The water association proposes to construct a supplemental intake structure to increase the water supply, build two booster pump stations and construct 14 miles of main transmission pipes. Jackson County is located in southeastern Kentucky and is part of the Appalachian Regional Commission chain and one of Kentucky's persistent poverty counties. These improvements will provide a reliable supply of drinking water for the association's 4,257 existing customers.

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.

>> Click here for a complete list of award recipients, by state

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