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Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Enhancing Rural America Through Rural Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Improvements

Rural America has been on the decline for a long time and people will continue to naturally flock toward larger cities with more amenities. However, with the advent of the Internet it is possible for some small towns that are well managed and have opportunities to take their virtual businesses and work to places that better suit their families. Helping small towns rebuild their dilapidated infrastructure can set the table for growth.

That doesn't mean every town would benefit the same. Some towns can be realigned to the global market and if we can make them attractive to draw and retain young families we can reverse their decline.

The following was taken from a press release....

USDA Invests in First District Rural Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Improvements


Washington - Today, Rep. Jack Bergman announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $281 million in 106 projects to improve water and wastewater infrastructure in rural communities in 36 states and Puerto Rico. This includes six projects in the First District of Michigan, which total a federal share of $2.6 million in loans and $2 million in grants, benefitting thousands of rural residents.

The USDA is funding the projects through the Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant program. Rep. Bergman has been a vocal proponent of this program that helps rebuild local water infrastructure. Recently, he encouraged continued funding for this important program noting that it is "essential in helping small and rural communities overcome their limitations in providing safe and affordable drinking water and sanitation."

Eligible applicants include rural cities, towns and water districts. The funds can be used for drinking water, stormwater drainage and waste disposal systems in rural communities that meet population limits.

For application or eligibility information, view the interactive RD Apply tool or contact one of USDA Rural Development’s state or field offices.

In April 2017, President Donald J. Trump established the Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity to identify legislative, regulatory and policy changes that could promote agriculture and prosperity in rural communities. In January 2018, Secretary Perdue presented the Task Force’s findings to President Trump. These findings included 31 recommendations to align the federal government with state, local and tribal governments to take advantage of opportunities that exist in rural America. Increasing investments in rural infrastructure is a key recommendation of the task force.

Information on the grants and loans for the City of Houghton, Villiage of Benzonia, City of Manistee, and City of Manistique can be found HERE.

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