More than $4B available for small towns to improve water systems

More than $4 billion in loans and $1 billion in grants are available for small towns nationwide to improve their community water and wastewater systems, according to officials with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utilities Service.

The funding is part of the Water and Wastewater Disposal Program, which assists rural areas with upgrading and expanding their drinking water systems, along with stormwater drainage and infrastructure to dispose solid waste. Carrie Castille, USDA Rural Development state director, said Louisiana is eligible to receive up to $75 million in funding. Towns with a population of 10,000 or fewer can apply for the funding by Sept. 30.

“The whole goal is to build water infrastructure throughout the state and build our rural economies,” Castille said. “It is a necessity and should be available to all citizens.”

The funding was secured through the 2018 omnibus spending package, Castille said. She said the amount of grant and loan dollars is about “four times” what is typically allotted.

“This was kind of a surprise to us,” Castille said.

Many rural towns in Louisiana have water systems that are either outdated or in distress. Gov. John Bel Edwards has said the state has to spend about $10 billion over the next 20 years to maintain and improve its water systems.

“This is a challenge nationwide; we have aging water infrastructure,” Castille said.

For more on applying, call Jared Hicks, USDA Rural Development acting community director, at 318-473-7940 or email jared.hicks@la.usda.gov. Online applications available by visiting www.rd.usda.gov/la.

””

In this photo from 2016, Gov. John Bel Edwards meets with Broadmore Drainage District representatives Don Gauthier and Larry Lyons and Sen. Dan “Blade” Morrish. Edwards applauded the extraordinary efforts of hundreds of volunteers including area school children in responding to fast-rising waters and saving the town from major flooding. Lake Arthur, with fewer than 10,000 residents, could be eligible for funds to improve drainage. 

Doris MaricleJefferson Davis Parish Reporter
https://www.americanpress.com/content/tncms/avatars/2/0b/363/20b363ec-3a6d-11e7-be79-bf9dc8973cf5.4ddcfc90d57047524e082314ecc99992.png

Local News

Pedestrian struck, killed on US 171

Local News

Vernon asks for more funding after Head Start enrollment doubles

Business News

Zoning laws amended for solar farm

Crime

10/15: Calcasieu Parish Sheriff announces arrest list

Local News

SW La. nightlife calendar: Here’s what’s happening

Local News

Downtown Saturday fest aims to celebrate spirit, resilience of SW La.

Local News

Charla Blake: Project Build A Future work rewarding, humbling

Crime

Criminal motorcycle gang activity ‘at dangerous level’

Local News

Kinder man killed in motorized scooter accident

Local News

Cold front expected in SW La. Friday night

Local News

Amanda Dougherty: I have built lifelong friendships in teaching profession

Crime

10/14: Calcasieu Parish Sheriff announces arrest list

Jim Beam

Jim Beam column:Time to draw election lines

Local News

Lifelong wellness journey starts by taking the first step 

Local News

Jeff Davis, Vernon police juries oppose vaccine mandates

Local News

LC Housing Authority finally gets insurance money year after Laura

Crime

State trooper charged in fatal crash

Business News

Bayou Blend has comfort down to a ‘T’

Business News

Economist discusses fate of energy prices

Business News

Mayor honored with tourism leadership award

Business News

Names in the News: People shaping the future of Lake Area business

Business News

Russell Richard: Why leadership is so important

Informer

Informer: Mandatory 10-digit dialing in La. begins soon

Local News

10/13: Calcasieu Parish Sheriff announces arrest list