USDA invests $10 million to improve water infrastructure for rural Alabama
Some rural areas of Alabama are set to receive more than $10 million in U.S. Department of Agriculture investments for water infrastructure projects, according to a release last week from the agency.
Chris Beeker, state director for USDA rural development, announced the agency will fund three projects to improve rural water infrastructure in Alabama.
“Under the leadership of President Trump and Agriculture Secretary Perdue, USDA continues to partner with rural communities to address their current and long-term water needs,” Beeker said. “This is great news for rural Alabama. Modernizing water infrastructure will yield key health benefits and help spur economic growth – making our rural communities even more attractive to live and work. When Rural America Thrives, All of America Thrives.”
Rural communities with 10,000 or fewer residents are eligible to receive funding for projects through the Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant program. These communities may devote the funds to drinking water, stormwater drainage and waste disposal systems.
This round of projects includes:
• The Utilities Board of the City of Opp will use a $3,289,000 loan to upgrade a water system installed in the mid-1900s.
• St. Elmo-Irvington Water Authority will use a $3,777,000 loan to upgrade aging wells and insufficient mains at its treatment facility.
• New London Water, Sewer, and Fire Protection Authority will use a $3,294,000 loan and a $552,000 grant to construct an additional well and upgrade water lines.
Increased investment in rural infrastructure was among the key recommendations to President Donald Trump by his Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity.
Earlier this year, Beeker announced that Alabama would be at the forefront of USDA’s rural broadband initiative. He called it a “game-changing” investment for the state.
USDA plans to make additional water infrastructure funding announcements in the coming weeks. The agency has set up an online application tool at RD Apply for interested parties.
Tim Howe is an owner of Yellowhammer News