The city of Richmond, population 464, will get more than $1.3 million in grants and loans from USDA Rural Development to install nearly 30,000 linear feet of water distribution lines, 25 fire hydrants, 210 pit and meter units, and 40 gate valves, as well as to buy an automatic meter reading system and telemetry system.
Richmond, which was the winner of this year's Earth Day Award, is one of four Kansas communities receiving funds to finance upgrades to their water and wastewater infrastructure.
Richmond also received a $500,000 Kansas Department of Commerce Community Development Block Grant.
"USDA partners with rural communities to provide needed financing for water and wastewater infrastructure projects that are vital to the health and safety of rural communities," said Sháne Hastings, USDA Rural Development Community Programs Director in Kansas.
This year's Earth Day investments were the largest ever for USDA Rural Development. Nearly $387 million is being awarded to 116 recipients in 40 states and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. The Department is providing $150 million in grants through the 2014 Farm Bill plus $237 million in loans and grants from USDA's Water and Environmental Program.
The three other Kansas communities receiving funds are the city of Conway Springs,, Rural Water District 1 in Osborne County and the city of Cuba.
Conway Springs (Population 1,272) will get a $2.022 million loan and a $2.558 million grant to replace approximately 62,000 linear feet of water distribution lines, and build a new 300,000 gallon water storage tank. A centralized water treatment facility will be constructed in the city with $2.32 million in funding coming from the Kansas Department of Health & Environment. The City of Conway Springs is contributing $495,000.
Rural Water District No. 1A Osborne County, will get a $123,000 loan, $100,500 grant to install approximately 11,000 linear feet of water line for approximately 90 rural Osborne County residents.
City of Cuba (Population 156) is receiving a $189,000 loan and a $391,000 grant to replace 15,000 linear feet of water distribution lines, and install 114 meters and service lines. Agency funds were accompanied by a $312,000 Kansas Department of Commerce Community Development Block Grant.
The City of Richmond's original water distribution system was installed in 1954 and was built with ductile iron pipe. The water pipes are now brittle and are filling with hard water deposits, which has caused frequent line breaks and restricted water flow. Water line breaks have led to extra maintenance for city staff and a significant amount of water lost. Through USDA financing, the city will be able to replace nearly 30,000 linear feet of ductile iron pipe with PVC pipe. The new water infrastructure will provide the city with adequate water well into the future.
"Without the financial investment of USDA Rural Development and the Kansas Department of Commerce this project wouldn't have been possible," said Marla Gadelman, Richmond City Clerk. "The new water infrastructure will help protect the city's water supply for future generations."
USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, has a portfolio of programs designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America.