Fresh dollars on loan from the United States Department of Agriculture will pave the way for completion of the City of Fennville’s water system according to an announcement today from the Trump Administration. It’s one part of the USDA’s investment of $268-million to modernize rural drinking water and wastewater infrastructure across 28 states.
Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Bette Brand says, “Upgrading the infrastructure that delivers safe drinking water and modern wastewater management facilities will improve public health and drive economic development in our small towns and cities,” and adds, “Under the leadership of President Trump and Agriculture Secretary Perdue, USDA is a strong partner with rural communities, because we know that when rural America thrives, all of America thrives.”
A total of nine Michigan communities are receiving a total of $32,901,000 in loans and $3,788,000 in grants spread across the state.
USDA State Director for Michigan Jason Allen tells us, “The geographic extent of this investment is staggering, covering every part of Michigan: north, south, west, the Thumb and the Upper Peninsula,” and adds, “USDA is leading the most concerted effort to improve rural infrastructure our state has seen in decades.”
The USDA is funding 76 projects through the Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant Program. These investments will help to improve rural water infrastructure for 267,000 residents.
Michigan’s projects include:
- The City of Fennville, in Allegan County, which will use a $111,000 loan to complete improvements to the city’s water system. This includes water main replacement, abandoning a well, and replacing water meters. The water system serves 1,423 people.
- The City of Manistique, in Schoolcraft County, which will use an $800,000 loan and $300,000 grant to fund a sewer main. The sewer interceptor failed under Highway US-2 on the west side of Manistique. There was a catastrophic collapse of the paved surface centered in the eastbound traffic lane. The collapse was approximately 450 feet west of the Manistique River. An emergency sewer repair was necessary to prevent raw sewage from discharging into the Manistique River and to prevent backup into homes and businesses.
- The City of Munising, in Alger County, which will use a $648,000 loan and $1,852,000 grant to replace part of the sewer main. The existing main in this section of M-28 was installed in the 1930s, and is susceptible to infiltration and inflow of ground water into both the system and subsequent sewage treatment. The removal and replacement of the aged collection lines will greatly improve the quality and reliability of wastewater collection. The project will be leveraged with a $5 million Michigan Department of Transportation grant to replace paving and provide ground restoration to the work. A small extension of the sewer is planned with this project which will add six additional users to the system.
- The Lake Mitchell Sewer Authority, in Wexford County, which will use a $9,388,000 loan to improve the sewer collection system. The project will clean and televise the sewer mains, add new grinder pumps, repair or replace pump stations, and replace metered manholes with new flowmeters. The flowmeters will increase the accuracy of how much discharge is being sent to the City of Cadillac, which will increase the accuracy of how much the authority pays to the city for treatment charges.
- The Village of Lexington, in Sanilac County, which will use a $3,659,000 loan and $1,335,000 grant to fund water system improvements. The project will add two filters at the water treatment plant, additional storage, upgrade existing filters, demolish the existing microfiltration system, construct a 500,000-gallon ground storage tank, improve the raw water intake to eliminate freezing issues, replace existing water meters, construct a booster pump station, and upgrade sections of old, undersized water mains.
- The Village of Constantine, in St. Joseph County, which will use a $13,395,000 loan to recommission an existing water treatment facility. The village commission shut down that facility in 1997, sending sewage to the City of Three Rivers for treatment. The project will rehabilitate and/or construct components of the treatment system.
- The Village of Pinckney, in Livingston County, which will use a $500,000 loan to complete ongoing sewer system upgrades. This project will install tight sheet piling around the main lift station to eliminate issues with dewatering in the construction area.
- The Village of Sheridan, in Montcalm County, which will use a $1,295,000 loan to upgrade the wastewater treatment facility which was constructed in 1980. The system has had very little capital improvements since construction and was built to accommodate population growth that did not occur. There is significant deterioration in the bypass piping, along with deterioration of valves and other structures. The project will replace piping, manhole replacement and rehabilitation, valve and slide gate replacement, repair the lagoon clay liner, regrade the lagoon berm, and make electrical improvements to the aeration system.
- The Village of Vermontville, in Eaton County, which will use a $3,105,000 loan and $301,000 grant for water system improvements. The current system dates back to the 1940s and is comprised of cast iron water main, well fields and uses a water tower built in 1947. The village has experienced many water main breaks in the past years due to the brittle nature of the cast iron. The project will replace and upgrade almost 2 miles of cast iron water main and construct a 150,000-gallon water tower. The project will also include the demolition of the old water tower once the new one is operational.
The investments that USDA announced today are being made in Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington and West Virginia.
To learn more about investment resources for rural areas, interested parties should contact their USDA Rural Development state office.
USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. For more information, you can visit online at: http://www.rd.usda.gov.