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Two Maine Towns Unite to Leverage USDA Support into a Money-Saving Clean Water Project

The far northern Maine towns of St. Agatha and Frenchville recognize the value of partnership. So when the aging St. Agatha wastewater treatment plant began to have issues, the towns began to work on a solution. That solution was a mutually beneficial partnership with Frenchville, located only six miles away.

The towns agreed to combine their wastewater treatment system into a single, state-of-the-art facility located in Frenchville. This decision helped both towns to cut costs, while helping to preserve the Saint John River and Long Lake, which is a valuable Salmon hatchery in the area.

The total project cost was $3.2 million, with USDA Rural Development providing $1.1 million to assist with the conversion of the treatment plant to a pumping facility. Other funding partners include the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, and the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development.

Both Long Lake and the Saint John Valley River will see positive environmental impacts from this essential funding.

Both Long Lake and the Saint John Valley River will see positive environmental impacts from this essential funding.

As State Director, I am pleased that USDA Rural Development could assist in the funding of this critical project that will benefit the residents of these two rural communities. This is a shining example of partnership and collaboration at its best, not only on the part of St. Agatha and Frenchville, but on the part of the partners who worked together to make this vital project a success.

The project is expected to be completed in late summer 2013 when St. Agatha will officially begin sending its wastewater to Frenchville for treatment.

USDA Rural Development has invested just over $91 million through the wastewater programs over the past decade to assist communities across the state of Maine to make essential upgrades to wastewater systems which contribute to improving water quality of rivers within areas of critical habitat for the endangered Atlantic salmon.

To find out how USDA can assist your community in improving its water quality, click here.

USDA Rural Development Maine State Director Virginia Manuel (fifth from right)  joined representatives of the towns of St. Agatha and Frenchville to celebrate the start of a project that will combine wastewater facilities into one efficient, state-of the art system.

USDA Rural Development Maine State Director Virginia Manuel (fifth from right) joined representatives of the towns of St. Agatha and Frenchville to celebrate the start of a project that will combine wastewater facilities into one efficient, state-of the art system.

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