Water system improvement projects in 19 states get USDA Recovery Act funding

WASHINGTON, DC, Feb. 19, 2010 -- Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced the funding of 47 projects designed to protect public health by improving water quality and public sanitation services in 19 states....

WASHINGTON, DC, Feb. 19, 2010 -- Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the funding of 47 projects designed to protect public health by improving water quality and public sanitation services in 19 states. The projects, funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, are expected to provide construction jobs and create infrastructure needed to support community growth.

"These investments in water and wastewater infrastructure will deliver safe drinking water and protect the quality of our environment," Vilsack said. "A safe, reliable water supply is vital to economic growth and development. Through these projects, we are helping to achieve the Obama Administration's economic recovery goals to rebuild and revitalize the nation's infrastructure."

For example, the state of Kansas will build eight projects including one in the city of Muscotah. The community has been selected to receive a loan of $240,000 and a grant of $506,000 to construct a new 65,000-gallon elevated water storage tank and install new water lines. Muscotah water system improvements will reduce waterline breakages, meet the state water pressure requirements, and provide community residents with safe, dependable drinking water supplies.

The Fort Smith Water and Sewer District in Montana has been selected to receive a $1,368,000 loan and $2,322,000 grant to construct a new well and well house, connect two systems to a main line, install new fire hydrants and water meters, and construct a 100,000-gallon water storage tank. These system improvements will boost community water pressure.

The loan and grant funding announced today totals $128.1 million. To date, USDA has announced $2.2 billion in Recovery Act funds for water and environmental projects. The Recovery Act was signed into law by President Obama one year ago.

The 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 >

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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