Secretary Vilsack Announces Assistance for Communities Planning New Water and Sewer Systems
WASHINGTON, March 08, 2010 - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that rural communities will receive support through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act) to plan for new water and waste disposal projects. Funding will be made available to the communities through a grant provided to the Virginia-based Rural Community Assistance Partnership, Inc.
"The Obama Administration supports the construction of new sanitation infrastructure that safeguards the health of rural residents," said Vilsack. "These funds will help ensure that operators of rural utility systems receive the training needed to plan new, safe reliable water systems."
The funding is provided through the Technical Assistance and Training Grant (TAT) program administered by USDA Rural Development. USDA is providing $5 million in Recovery Act funds to the Partnership to help rural communities better identify solutions to water and waste disposal problems, assist applicants as they prepare funding applications, meet reporting requirements and improve the operation and maintenance of existing facilities. The funds are in addition to the $19 million previously awarded under the TAT grant program in Fiscal Year 2009.
The Rural Community Assistance Partnership, Inc. (RCAP) will operate the Recovery Act Technitrain Program to provide technical assistance and training to 420 rural water and waste systems that are funded through the Recovery Act. An estimated 25 percent of the systems are located in persistent poverty counties. In addition, the program will focus on assisting recipients with successful management and maintenance of small, rural water and waste systems.
President Obama signed The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 into law on Feb. 17, 2009. It is designed to jumpstart the nation's economy, create or save millions of jobs, and put a down payment on addressing long-neglected challenges so our country can thrive in the 21st century. The Act includes measures to modernize our nation's infrastructure, enhance energy independence, expand educational opportunities, preserve and improve affordable health care, provide tax relief, and protect those in greatest need.
More information about USDA's Recovery Act efforts is available at www.usda.gov/recovery. More information about the Federal government's efforts on the Recovery Act is available at www.recovery.gov.
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