U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.), along with Senators Jay Rockefeller and Joe Manchin (both D-W.Va.), Friday announced federal funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development for water infrastructure projects in southern West Virginia which will provide economic and health and safety benefits to rural communities across the region.
"As the Congress addresses the federal budget in the coming months, vital, essential programs funding basic services like clean drinking water and wastewater treatment must be preserved," said Rahall. "Federal agencies, like Rural Development, are true partners with us in promoting healthier families and our communities' economies. When needs outweigh a community's and a State's ability to meet those needs, federal government investments are not only necessary, they strengthen the entire country."
"Making sure West Virginians have access to safe water and enough of it is crucial," said Rockefeller. "This funding will make sure that communities in southern West Virginia are able to get the water and wastewater infrastructure they need, which enables our towns and economies to grow and keeps West Virginians healthy and safe. I'm thrilled to see this funding coming to our state."
"Making sure that all the people of our state are connected to basic necessities of life -- like water -- is one of my top priorities," Manchin said. "When state and local governments partner with the federal government on projects like these, it's a win-win for everyone involved. That's what I did when I was Governor, when my Administration worked with communities through loan programs to make sure that everyone involved invested in these projects. And I will continue to work to make these commonsense infrastructure investments a reality as Senator."
Raleigh County Public Service District will receive a Water and Waste Disposal Loan of nearly $3.7 million and a grant of $500,000 to upgrade and extend the District's water system. The upgrades are needed to address pressure complaints, replace leaking line, and relocate a section of line. Water service will also be extended to approximately 68 new customers in the Ameagle area of Raleigh County. Finally, 59 customers from another system that is in poor condition will be disconnected and tied in to the new Raleigh County PSD extension. Other funding includes $938,800 from the State of West Virginia; total cost of the project is $5,132,800.
Craigsville Public Service District in Nicholas County will receive a loan of $1,977,000 for its project to install one storage tank, one booster station, and 50,400 linear feet of water lines to serve approximately 88 new customers along County Route 3 beginning with Lick Fork and running to the Town of Tioga. The project also includes five branch lines between these two points including Horse Run, Delphi Road, Bear Pen Road, Big Run Road, and Lick Fork Road. These residents currently rely on wells and other sources of untreated water, which are of poor quality. Total project cost is $3,738,210.
Lincoln Public Service District will receive a grant of $879,000 and a loan of $401,000 to extend public water service to approximately 118 new customers that currently rely on privately owned wells. Residents in the project area claim that the wells produce water of very poor quality and some produce no water during the summer months. This project is necessary to give additional rural residents a safe and reliable source of water. Total cost of the project is nearly $6 million with $1.50 million provided by the Appalachian Regional Commission; a $1.5 million Small Cities Block Grant from U.S. Housing and Urban Development; $525,000 from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; $1 million provided by the State of West Virginia; and, $175,000 provided locally.
Buffalo Creek Public Service District in Logan County will receive a loan of nearly $4 million and a grant of $779,000 to extend public sewer service to approximately 306 new customers in the Triadelphia area of Logan County that currently use private septic systems that are failing or are in poor condition. The project will also eliminate one of the District's existing treatment plants and reroute the wastewater to another, better functioning, plant. This project will help address health and environmental concerns associated with the current situation. Total cost of the project is over $4.7 million.
The loans and grants announced today are being provided by USDA Rural Development's Rural Utilities Service (RUS) to help West Virginia communities build and upgrade rural water systems. RUS funding provides thousands of new connections to water and wastewater facilities to improve water quality, increase the efficiency of water use, and reduce usage, which helps to improve local economies and quality of life in rural areas across the United States.