The day was hot and windy, but the mood on the banks of the Missouri River was electrifying as North Dakota USDA Rural Development State Director Jasper Schneider joined Congressman Earl Pomeroy, South Central Regional Water District board members, farmers, ranchers, and city folk recently to witness the long-awaited groundbreaking for a new water treatment facility.
The investment will provide a significant boost to the quality of life for more than 10,000 residents with a reliable water service not only for personal consumption, but also for livestock.
Thanks to the American Recovery Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act) funding was provided through a USDA Rural Development Water and Waste Direct Loan in the amount of $7.4 million to South Central Regional Water District. Federal funds were leveraged with a grant from the Garrison Diversion Conservancy Municipal Rural and Industrial funding program.
“Rural communities are an important part of North Dakota’s fabric and investments in infrastructure will allow them to continue to grow, thrive and attract businesses,” said Schneider. “If we are going to have a rural workforce to support our strong Ag industry we need things like basic infrastructure such as water, electricity, broadband internet, good disposable sewer systems and this project today falls into part of that equation.”
Construction has already begun on the pipeline from the Missouri River that will run to the treatment facility about 15 miles west of Linton. Water will be flowing through the new system to the communities of Linton, Strasburg, Hague, Braddock and the State Line Rural Water Cooperative by early 2012. The remaining Recovery Act dollars will help with the expansions into McIntosh and Logan counties bringing water east to Ashley, Wishek and then to the Napoleon area by 2015.
“These are exciting times for many that have waited better than 15 years to see this project become a reality,” added Schneider. “In addition with today’s project, North Dakota surpassed the $400 million lending milestone in the Water and Environment Program (WEP) since its inception in 1963.”
Also, attending the ceremony were staff members representing U.S. Senator Kent Conrad and U.S. Senator Byron Dorgan.
Note: Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will attend the Big Iron Farm Show at the Red River Valley Fairgrounds in West Fargo. The show opens on September 14th.