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Topeka, Kan., November 7, 2011 – USDA Rural Development State Director Patty Clark recognized the City of Oswego for partnering with USDA Rural Development to improve the city’s water system.
“USDA Rural Development provides critical financing to rural Kansas communities to help upgrade aging water and wastewater infrastructure,” said Clark. “Making the necessary infrastructure improvements will help the city better prepare for future economic growth and provide a better quality of life for its residents.”
The city has received nearly $9 million in financing from USDA Rural Development over the past eight years to improve the city’s water infrastructure. USDA Rural Development provided affordable financing to the city, when commercial credit was not available at reasonable rates and terms. By the city utilizing USDA Rural Development financing on its water improvement projects, residents are able to save approximately $30 per month on their water bill.
Currently the city is utilizing USDA Rural Development financing to replace approximately 22 miles of cast iron pipe, and to install more than 100 fire hydrants and gate valves. This project is expected to be completed next spring. The last phase of the city’s water structure improvements is to protect the water source by repairing the city’s dam and intake structure. During the spring of 2009, the city owned dam on the Neosho River was damaged by severe storms that caused flooding, straight line winds and tornadoes. This year the city received a $423,000 loan and a $330,000 grant from USDA Rural Development to repair the dam and make streambank repairs, which should be completed next year. The Federal Emergency Management Agency is also a financing partner on the city’s streambank and dam repairs.
Oswego Mayor Glenn Fischer stated, “Without the assistance of USDA Rural Development, the city wouldn’t have been able to afford the water infrastructure improvements. The grants and low interest rate loans provide by USDA Rural Development saved the city a lot of money.”
USDA Rural Development’s Water and Environmental Programs (WEP) provides loans, grants and loan guarantees for drinking water, sanitary sewer, solid waste and storm drainage facilities in rural areas and cities and towns of 10,000 or less. The city of Oswego also utilized USDA Rural Development’s financing to upgrade its sewer system in the 1990s.
USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, administers and manages housing, business and community infrastructure and facility programs through a national network of state and local offices. Rural Development has an existing portfolio of more than $155 billion in loans and loan guarantees. These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America. For additional information regarding USDA Rural Development programs, visit the Agency’s website http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/KS, or call the Agency’s State Office at 785-271-2700.