The Van Buren County community of Covert Township is one of 11 communities across the state of Michigan identified today by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as earning investments in water and sewer infrastructure on Earth Day.
Today, in honor of Earth Day 2021, Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Justin Maxson announced the USDA is investing $490 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, including $43-million in Michigan, with Covert Townshipgetting part of those investment dollars.
Maxson says, “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,” and adds, “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.”
Michigan has projects in 11 rural communities, with USDA Rural Development Flint-Mason Area Director Cheryl Holm telling us, “These investments in clean drinking water and enhanced sewer systems will help preserve Michigan’s environment for years to come,” and noting, “They highlight our enduring commitment to rural communities.”
Through its Water and Environmental Programs, the USDA funds vital water infrastructure that directly benefits the health, economic vitality and environment of rural America. These are the projects in Michigan:
- Covert Township, in Van Buren County, will use a $728,000 loan and $595,000 grant to improve the sewer system. The project includes replacement of the septic tanks at the wastewater treatment system, rehabilitation of the lift stations with mechanical screens, cleaning, repairs, and upgrades to the electrical systems.
- The Village of Central Lake, in Antrim County, will use a $794,000 loan and $1,351,000 grant to improve the sewer system. The project will replace two service-area pump stations and three cluster pump stations, build a similar community-drain field system, and provide for the observation and/or cleaning of the gravity sewer and force main. In addition, funds will be used to inspect and clean all septic holding tanks, retrofit existing septic holding tanks, purchase a vacuum truck and improve utility billing software.
- The City of Harrison, in Clare County, will use a $1,229,000 loan and $2,191,000 grant to replace aged and undersized water mains, improve the well and well pump, improve two water towers and a permanent generator.
- The City of Flushing, in Genesee County, will use a $2,037,000 loan to improve several components of the wastewater treatment facility.
- The Torch Lake Area Sewage Authority, in Houghton County, will use a $6,023,000 loan and $6,477,000 grant to install additional lined lagoons, improve existing lagoon lining, discharge piping and outfall for seasonal discharge to local rivers. This investment is in addition to other Rural Development funding that supports this project.
- The Village of Muir, in Ionia County, will use a $1,057,000 loan and $1,115,000 grant to improve the water system, including 7,950 feet of water main replacement with valves, hydrants, electrical and SCADA improvements at the water tower as well as a standby generator.
- The Village of Carleton, in Monroe County, will use an $8,136,000 loan to provide sewer system improvements. The project includes manhole pipe and cured in-place rehabilitation in areas of the collection system, rehabilitation of the two lift stations and extensive improvements to the wastewater treatment plant.
- Whiteford Township, in Monroe County, will use a $4,755,000 loan to extend their water system. The project will construct five miles of watermain, a 200,000-gallon elevated tank, booster station, and water meters.
- The Village of Capac, in St. Clair County, will use a $1,085,000 loan to provide sewer system improvements, including replacing pump stations and installing permanent generators at the lagoon.
- Standish Township, in Arenac County, will use a $379,000 loan and $1,140,000 grant to construct a water distribution system to the Whites Beach area, which is located along the shore of Lake Huron. Water will be purchased from the neighboring tribal water filtration plant. The township will use an additional $710,000 loan and $2,132,000 grant to construct a sewer collection system that will use the tribal sewage treatment plant.
- The Village of Colon will use a $1,210,000 loan for sewer system improvements to two stations.
The USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in many positive ways. The department reports that in the Biden-Harris Administration, the USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, you can visit online at: http://www.usda.gov.