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Expanding Southwest Virginia's Public Drinking Water Infrastructure


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The provision of a safe and adequate supply of drinking water is an essential step in maintaining the excellent quality of life Southwest Virginia affords as well as in meeting our economic development goals for the region. Ensuring that the region's water infrastructure is sufficient to meet the needs of our region's locally owned businesses as well as companies seeking new locations to expand their operations is an important part of our strategy to attract new jobs to Southwest Virginia.

For these reasons, one of my primary goals in representing our region is to work with our local governments to obtain federal funding to expand and improve our region's public water service. Our work has borne fruit, and safe and reliable public water service is now available to many more homes and businesses in Southwest Virginia as a result. This year, I have secured more than $39 million in federal funds that will be used to construct new or improve existing water systems throughout the region, which will provide new or more reliable water services to more than 40,000 homes and businesses.

I am particularly pleased to note that this week, we are making great strides in advancing this goal, and many other significant steps in expanding our water infrastructure are underway throughout the Ninth Congressional District.

Most recently, last week I announced the allocation of a low-interest federal loan of $3,812,000 to help bring jobs to the New River Valley Commerce Park by constructing a water system adequate to accommodate business growth in the Park. The funds were provided at my request by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Development Agency and will construct a connection between Pulaski County's water system and the City of Radford's water treatment plant, which will enable the provision of adequate water services to the New River Valley Commerce Park. Previously, I secured a grant of $3 million to install water lines throughout the Commerce Park. The new allocation of federal funds will provide the water source for the Park as well as an additional water source for the entire Pulaski County water system, making that system more reliable and able to accommodate future residential and business growth.

Also, on August 16, I was able to join with local officials in breaking ground on two new federally funded water projects. First, ground was broken on a major rehabilitation of the Town of Rural Retreat's public water system, which will be constructed with the assistance of $2.34 million in federal funds provided at my request. With the funds, the Town's aging water lines will be replaced, providing more reliable water service for the more than 1,000 homes and businesses that rely on the Town's water service and enabling new growth in the Town.

I also joined Carroll County officials in breaking ground on a federally funded public water system to provide safe drinking water to the more than 40 residents of the Honeycutt Dam Road area near Woodlawn and enable future growth in that community. These homes currently rely on private wells and have had problems with water quality and quantity. The new water system will provide the homes with safe and reliable drinking water.

On August 17, I joined with Patrick County residents in breaking ground on a new water system that will bring safe and reliable water service to more than 210 homes and businesses along the U.S. Route 58 corridor in Patrick County in the Patrick Springs Community. The homes in this area currently rely on a number of private water systems, which can be unreliable, and business growth in the area has been restricted by lack of public water service. The new public water system, which will be accompanied by a wastewater system and is being constructed with more than $5 million in federal funds, will address these problems and allow for new growth in this community.

Finally, later this week, I will be joining Buchanan and Dickenson County officials in marking the completion of a federally funded public water project which is providing safe and reliable drinking water to 238 residents and businesses in both Counties from the Town of Haysi to the Davenport community along Route 80.

These advancements in our public water infrastructure represent significant steps forward in our efforts to achieve our economic development goals and to improve the quality of life for Southwest Virginia residents. I look forward to marking similar successes in other parts of the Ninth District in the near future.

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