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Improving drinking water & waste infrastructure

Special to the Courier

Secretary Tom Vilsack last week announced that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is making investments to improve water and waste infrastructure for 168 small towns across the country. The investment, totaling $283 million, is made through USDA Rural Development’s Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant Program, which provides assistance and financing to develop drinking water and waste disposal systems for communities with 10,000 or fewer residents.
In Bandera County, the Bandera River Ranch Water Supply Corporation received an additional $100,000 loan to supplement a $450,000 loan awarded in 2015 to construct a new water well, and a 40,000-gallon ground storage tank and building.
The water well and storage tank and building helped alleviate water shortages that had occurred in the past in the subdivision off Highway 16 South.
“Strong infrastructure is critical to keeping America’s communities of all sizes thriving. The USDA is proud to partner with the National Rural Water Association to help improve the livelihood of our smallest towns by providing access to reliable water and wastewater systems,” said Vilsack.
“Projects like these are critical to the economy, health and future of rural America, and today 19 million residents now have improved water and wastewater services in their communities thanks to investments USDA has made since 2009.”
Other Texas funding recipients included the Bruni Rural Water Supply Corporation (WSC), $242,000 loan and $1,375,300; City of Florence, additional grant of $45,000; Matagorda Waste Disposal and Water Supply Corporation, $5,845,000 loan and $1,920,000 grant; and City of Poteet, $4,017,000 loan.
Since 2009, USDA Rural Development (@USDARD) has invested $13.5 billion for 5,739 water and waste infrastructure projects, benefiting 19.1 million rural residents; invested nearly $13 billion to start or expand nearly 112,000 rural businesses; helped 1.1 million rural residents buy homes; funded nearly 9,200 community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care facilities; and helped bring high-speed Internet access to nearly 6 million rural residents and businesses.
USDA also has invested $31.3 billion in 963 electric projects that have financed more than 185,000 miles of transmission and distribution lines serving 4.6 million rural residents.
For more information, visit www.usda.gov/results.