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USDA Announces Infrastructure Projects Across Nation Including Belen And San Ysidro In New Mexico

on October 20, 2019 - 4:14pm
USDA State Director Arthur A. Garcia 
 
USDA News:
 
WASHINGTON, D.C. U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Donald “DJ” LaVoy announced that USDA is investing $201 million to improve rural water infrastructure in 31 states.
   
“Modern, reliable and accessible infrastructure is critical to economic development and quality of life,” LaVoy said. “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.”
   
New Mexico Rural Development State Director Arthur A. Garcia added, “The projects in Belen and in the community of San Ysidro north of Las Cruces included in this announcement are an example of Rural Development’s goal to build thriving economies and improve the quality of life in rural areas.” Garcia added, “We are dedicated to the mission of building and modernizing critical infrastructure. This will insure those living in rural America are afforded a higher quality of life.”
   
USDA is providing the funding through the Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant program. 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 with 10,000 or fewer residents.
   
The Doña Ana Mutual Domestic Water association will receive an $11,055,965 loan/grant funding package to install a new wastewater delivery system in the colonia of San Ysidro located north of Las Cruces, New Mexico.  When completed the sewer collection service will connect to the City of Las Cruces wastewater collection system and treatment facility. The new delivery system will eliminate the environmental concern of groundwater contamination because the community is currently using cesspools and septic tanks.
   
The City of Belen will receive a $2,665,000 loan/grant funding package to build an arsenic water treatment facility. Currently, water from the city’s water well number eight exceeds federally-mandated drinking standards for arsenic. Because the geology of New Mexico includes volcanic formations along the Rio Grande basin the drinking water in some cases has higher levels of arsenic. Although the arsenic levels are very low the new water treatment facility will bring Belen's water into compliance with drinking water standards.
   
USDA is announcing investments today in Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
    
USDA awarded nearly $1.8 billion for Water and Environmental Program loans and grants during fiscal year 2019. View the interactive RD Apply tool or contact one of USDA Rural Development’s state or field offices for application or eligibility information.
   
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.
   
To view the report in its entirety, please view the Report to the President of the United States from the Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity (PDF, 5.4 MB). In addition, to view the categories of the recommendations, please view the Rural Prosperity infographic (PDF, 190 KB).
   
USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov.

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