08.20.08

Leahy Announces $8.2 M. In Farm Bill Funds For Troy And Jay Wastewater Improvements . . . Improved System To Encourage Economic Growth And Protect Lake Champlain

 U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Wednesday told members of the Troy and Jay selectboards and local business leaders assembled at the Jay Fire Department that more than $8.2 million in U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development funding is on its way to the two communities to help with a new wastewater improvement project slated to begin in 2010.  Leahy, a former chairman and the most senior member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, helped write the 2008 Farm Bill that funded elements of the grant and loan package.

“Expanding and improving a community’s wastewater infrastructure encourages smart growth and helps businesses plan ahead," said Leahy.  "This kind of investment sets the stage for new opportunities to spur economic growth, create jobs and help establish new affordable homes.  Just as importantly, this federal investment will ensure that less untreated and undertreated wastewater is being released into the Missisquoi River, reducing pollution in the river and Lake Champlain.”

More than $2.6 million of the USDA RD grant money is being awarded through a 2008 Farm Bill program aimed to eliminate backlogged wastewater grant applications.  The towns of Troy and Jay were awarded about $1 million in further grant funding through the annual USDA RD wastewater grant program.  An additional $4.5 million in USDA RD loans will also be used in the $13.4 million project.  These loans will be offered at a new lower interest rate that Leahy and other Farm Bill authors also included in the new Farm Bill, enacted earlier this year.

 

USDA RD New Hampshire and Vermont State Director Jolinda LaClair said, “Since 2001, USDA RD has invested over $87 million dollars in water and wastewater systems in Vermont. Having safe and reliable infrastructure is vital to the health and growth of any community, and RD is proud to provide this critical financing to the Towns of Jay and Troy which have demonstrated a vision towards the future and a commitment to its residents.”

 

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