Nick Fetty | April 22, 2016
The Iowa towns of Coggon and Wiota are among 58 rural communities nationwide that will receive funding for water infrastructure projects, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced in collaboration with Earth Day earlier this week.
USDA Rural Development’s Water and Environmental Program (WEP) will provide technical assistance and financing to develop drinking water and waste disposal systems for communities with fewer than 10,000 residents. WEP will provide $183 million in funding for 60 projects in 33 states.
Coggon – a town of 658 located in northern Linn County in Eastern Iowa – will receive $4,205,000 (a loan of $2,314,000 plus $1,891,000 in grant funding) to build a new wastewater treatment plant. The city’s current wastewater treatment was built more than 60 years ago and has been in need of an upgrade for about 20 years. The project aims to not only provide safe drinking water for Coggon residents but also to better treat discharged wasterwater and minimize harm to the environment and downstream communities.
Wiota – a town of 116 located in northern Cass County in Western Iowa – will receive $2 million (a loan of $434,000 plus $1,566,000 in grant funding) for a water system rehabilitation project. The proposed project includes constructing a replacement water distribution piping system and a new well as well as an additional water storage facility.
“Safe drinking water and sanitary waste disposal systems are vital not only to public health, but also to the economic vitality of small communities,” said Agriculture Secretary and former Iowa governor Tom Vilsack. “Helping rural communities build and upgrade their water infrastructure is one more way USDA strengthens rural areas. Building and maintaining water infrastructure creates jobs, boosts the economy, and provides rural families with safe, reliable water and wastewater facilities that improve the environment.”
In fiscal year 2015, Iowa received nearly $22 million from USDA Rural Development for water and waste disposal projects.