Four Arkansas communities will receive more than $7 million funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for rural water infrastructure improvements. This is part of a larger effort to invest millions throughout the United States to improve water infrastructure, public health and environmental quality in rural communities.
The four rural communities chosen to receive federal funding include Cotter, Flippin, Franklin and Sulphur Rock. These four communities will receive a total of $2,912,000 in loans and $4,732,000 in grants for an overall total of $7,644,000.
Three of the communities will be using the funds for wastewater and treatment system rehabilitation, while another will be using the funds to construct a new water well and chlorination facility.
Cotter will be rehabilitating its existing wastewater collection and treatment system, which it co-owns with the city of Gassville, in order to provide “more efficient wastewater collections and treatment services. Cotter will be receiving $1,551,000 in loans and $610,000 in grants for the project.
Flippin will also be rehabilitating its wastewater collection system by replacing existing wastewater lines and manholes. The project is expected to serve 51 new users. Flippin will receive $775,000 in loans and $3,579,000 in grants.
Franklin will be constructing a new water well and chlorination facility. The city currently has one well, and the new well is designed to prevent the city from running out of water if the existing well is out of service. The town will receive $174,000 in loans and $534,000 in grants.
Sulphur Rock will receive $52,000 in loans to completely rehabilitate its wastewater treatment system.
The USDA is investing approximately $281 million in 106 water and wastewater projects across the United States. The funding will be pulled from the Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant program.
“These investments will bring modern, reliable water and wastewater infrastructure to rural communities. They will replace deteriorating, leaking water pipes with new ones and upgrade water handling systems that are decades old. These investments create jobs and improve public health and safety for our rural neighbors,” USDA Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Bette Brandsaid in a statement. “Under the leadership of President Trump and Agriculture Secretary Perdue, USDA is committed to partnering with rural communities to help them improve their infrastructure, because when rural America thrives, all of America thrives.”
USDA is funding projects in Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.