Today, in honor of Earth Day 2021, Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Justin Maxson announced the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $487 million in critical infrastructure that will help communities in 45 states build back better and stronger while prioritizing climate-smart solutions and environmental stewardship.
USDA is making the investments under the Water and Environmental Program, the Rural Energy for America Program, the Electric Loan Program and the Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program.
“When we invest in accessible and modern climate-smart infrastructure in rural communities, we invest in rebuilding the middle class by creating good-paying jobs,” Maxson said. “The investments we are announcing today demonstrate how the Biden-Harris Administration has put rural communities at the heart of climate action and climate-smart solutions.”
In Genesee County, the USDA today announced these federal loans and a grant for infrastructure in two towns:
Town of Bethany -- $16,680,000 loan: This Rural Development investment will be used to expand public water service to residents and businesses located outside of the existing service area. The new water district will relieve the financial and logistical burdens of replacing or repairing failing private weel water system, minimize threats to public health and will provide water for fire protection. The total project cost is $16,686,000 with a direct loan for $16,680,000, and an applicant contribution of $6,000.
Town of Pembroke -- $1,145,000 loan + $904,000 grant: This Rural Development investment will be used to create the Pratt Road Water District in the Town of Pembroke. Funding will replace and repair failing private well water systems. The improvements will help enhance public health and provide water for fire protection.
Press release from Congressman Chris Jacobs (NY-27)
“I applaud the USDA’s continued commitment into ensuring Western New York farmers and residents in rural communities have access to clean drinking water," Jacobs said. “Many rural communities in my district have outdated water delivery systems. This funding helps modernize that infrastructure and will serve as an economic boost. I will keep working to ensure these investments and improvements are made so residents throughout our region are supported.”
Bethany Town Supervisor Carl Hyde Jr. said “Securing this funding has been a major priority of mine. I want to thank the USDA for this funding and for the great rural development work they do. With this funding, Bethany will now be able to cover close to 90 percent of our town with public water service.”