Last week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced it will send $272 million to 37 states, including Florida, and Puerto Rico to “modernize rural drinking water and wastewater infrastructure for 270,000 people living in rural communities.”
Two of the 114 projects that the USDA is helping through the Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant Program are in Florida.
The city of Starke will get $1.857 million in loans and $1.825 million in grants for its wastewater treatment plant system “The improvements will bring the city into compliance with regulatory agencies and will assure improvements in public health for future residents within the service area,” the USDA noted.
The city of Freeport will get $15.741 million in loans and $3.694 in grants to expand its wastewater treatment plant.
“The improvements include a sewer system treatment plant that will bring the city into compliance with regulatory agencies and will assure public health and welfare for its future residents within the service area,” the USDA noted.
“As people in many parts of the nation battle drought and fires brought on by climate change, there has never been a more urgent need for this assistance,” said U.S. Agriculture Sec. Tom Vilsack. “When we invest in rural infrastructure, we build opportunity and prosperity for people in rural communities. These investments support the local economy by making rural communities attractive, economically viable and safe places to live and work, therefore helping to create and save jobs by attracting and retaining employers and workers. Investing in rural water infrastructure is one of the many things the Biden-Harris administration is doing to help the nation build back better during the ongoing recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.”
“The Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant Program provides funding for clean and reliable drinking water systems, sanitary sewage disposal, sanitary solid waste disposal, and storm water drainage. The program serves people and businesses in eligible rural areas with populations of 10,000 or less,” the USDA noted.