OSWEGO — The towns of Hastings and Volney will receive a combined $6.4 million in federal loans and grants meant to bring fresh drinking water to presently-unserved residents as part of a $307 million national program to modernize rural drinking water and wastewater infrastructure in 34 states and Puerto Rico, Brian Murray, Acting New York State Director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, announced earlier this month.
More than $21 million of that $307 million in loans and grants will be distributed across five rural communities throughout rural New York state, Murray said.
The town of Hastings will receive a loan of $2,729,000 for construction of its Route 11 North Fuller Road Water District Phase E to provide drinking water to those remaining residents without it.
The town of Volney will receive a loan of $2,214,000 and a grant of $1,500,000 to create the County Route 6 - Maple Ave. Water Service, a project that will extend water service to residents who currently do not have access to safe and reliable potable water. The new pipeline will connect the town’s existing water distribution main with water supplied by the Oswego County Water Authority.
These investments follow President Joe Biden’s announcement last week of a bipartisan infrastructure framework that, according to the administration, will make the largest investment in clean drinking water in American history. The plan is to replace all of the nation’s lead pipes and service lines, which, according to the USDA, will help address barriers faced by communities of color, tribal communities, and people who live in rural America.
“Every community needs safe, reliable and modern water and wastewater systems,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said. “The consequences of decades of disinvestment in physical infrastructure have fallen most heavily on communities of color. This is why USDA is investing in water infrastructure in rural and tribal communities that need it most – to help them build back better, stronger and more equitably than ever before.”
New York’s Murray added, “Investments in rural infrastructure, like these, are more than creating water districts or placing linear feet of pipelines in the ground – rather, these are down payments for a community’s safety and wellbeing as well as their prosperity.”
USDA is financing the projects through the Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant Program, which will provide funding for clean and reliable drinking water systems, sanitary sewage disposal, sanitary solid waste disposal, and storm water drainage. The program serves households and businesses in eligible rural areas with populations of 10,000 or fewer and is estimated to improve rural infrastructure for 250,000 residents and businesses.
The states receiving a share of this federal project are: Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, North Dakota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin, West Virginia and Puerto Rico.