Become a fan on Facebook Follow us on Twitter USDA Blog Feed Watch USDA videos on YouTube Subscribe to receive e-mail updates View USDA Photos on Flickr Subscribe to RSS Feeds

Posts tagged: Recovery Act

Utah’s Azure Elite LLC, Wescor INC. Congratulated and Selected as Business Project of the Year

Written by Utah State Director, Dave Conine and Public Information Coordinator Donna Birk

USDA Rural Development-Utah and Bank of Utah recently recognized Azure Elite, Wescor Inc. as “Recovery Act Project of the Year.”  Wescor was honored for its community leadership, vision and success, and its contribution to the mission of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.  Wescor can trace its roots back to 1966 when a group of fourteen Utah engineer faculty members founded it. Today Wescor is specialized in clinical laboratory equipment. Read more »

USDA Rural Development Recovery Act Investment Brings Broadband to Thousands of Residents of Iowa and Missouri

By Bill Menner and Janie Dunning, USDA Rural Development State Directors of Iowa and Missouri

Bringing broadband to rural communities is about more than guaranteeing your daughter has 24/7 access to Twitter, or giving your son unlimited opportunities to play video games. Read more »

USDA Recovery Act-Funded Wireless Internet to Reach Remote Choctaw Nation

While the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma is rich in cultural pride, identity and history, its remote location in the rugged terrain of Southeast Oklahoma has severely limited the tribe’s economic development efforts.  But a Broadband Initiative Program grant, made available by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, will enable Pine Telephone Company (PTC) to use innovative wireless technology to deliver affordable broadband service to portions of this rural, remote and economically disadvantaged region in Southeast Oklahoma. Read more »

Senator Ben Nelson Meets Nebraska USDA Staff to Discuss Homeownership and other Rural Development Programs

U.S. Senator Benjamin Nelson and Nebraska USDA Rural Development State Director Maxine Moul took part in a reception held at the USDA Rural Development State Office in Lincoln, Neb. recently.  At the reception, the Senator heard how Rural Development programs have helped rural Nebraskans. Read more »

Riceboro, Georgia to get Almost $7.5 million In Recovery Act Funds for Sewer Treatment Plant Expansion Project

Written by E.J. Stapler, Rural Development Public Information Coordinator, Georgia

Shirley Sherrod, Georgia state director of USDA Rural Development, Mayor Bill Austin, and other officials celebrated Earth Day in Riceboro, where Phase II of a sewer collection and treatment project will be completed thanks to a USDA Rural Development loan and grant for $7,495,200. The project will eliminate a health and safety hazard, as well as provide service for 225 new users. The funding is provided through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

“This is a wonderful way to observe Earth Day, because this project will help clean up the environment,” Sherrod said. “This project is very close to the ocean, as well.”

The City of Riceboro, located less than 10 miles from the ocean in Liberty County, is spread over about 4,000 acres, but has a population of only 800. Liberty County is ranked by the State of Georgia as being among those with the greatest need and highest poverty levels.

A sewer main will be installed to serve two areas. Those customers currently are experiencing failing septic systems, which creates a health hazard. Service will also be provided to a large, local employer.

Also, part of the Earth Day celebration was a river clean up and a poster contest sponsored by the city.

Over 100 people attended the Earth Day announcement  in Baxley, Georgia and many dined under a permanent pavilion by the river.

Ricky Sweat, Area Director in Baxley Georgia, talks to Georgia State Director Shirley Sherrod at the Georgia Earth Day celebration in Riceboro. The project announced by USDA will remove will remove contaminants from local rivers and streams.

Ricky Sweat, Area Director in Baxley Georgia, talks to Georgia State Director Shirley Sherrod at the Georgia Earth Day celebration in Riceboro. The project announced by USDA will remove will remove contaminants from local rivers and streams.


Berlin, MD: Progress on the Wastewater Treatment Plant

by Jamie Welch, Grade 8, Worcester Preparatory School

The town of Berlin recently received $12 million dollars in grants and low-interest loans from the USDA Recovery Act.  The purpose of these grants was to renovate and update the Berlin Wastewater Treatment plant.  These upgrades are necessary because of the growing demand for wastewater treatment in the town of Berlin, and the new tough environmental requirements handed down by the State of Maryland and the EPA.  When the updates are complete, the plant will be able to process effluent down to near drinking water quality.

I recently visited the wastewater treatment plant and took a look at how the money from the USDA is being used.  Bearing Construction is the company in charge of overseeing the upgrades, some of which include reworking old equipment. Another part of the plan is the installation of a state-of-the-art piece of technology called an SBR, or Sequencing Batch Reactor.  This device works with bacteria in three different chambers to get rid of most phosphorous and nitrogen, down to almost drinking water quality.  “It’s a better quality than [the water] that most people get out of their wells,” said Jane Kreiter, Director of Water and Wastewater in Berlin.  The treated effluent is then pumped by pipeline to a spray irrigation site on Purnell Crossing Road in Libertytown, Maryland where it is used to water trees and crops.

The town has plans in the works for a second spray irrigation site in Newark which, when competed, would eliminate the need for dumping treated effluent into the coastal bays.  Many people are concerned about having the spray site in their backyards.  Kreiter is quick to point out that in Florida, people are already using treated wastewater to clean their cars and water their plants.  She says that the public is just not well informed on this, because we’ve never really had to conserve water like in Florida.  Kreiter adds that the sprayed effluent will have no negative effects on the groundwater table and aquifers.  The final decision about the new spray site will be made at a meeting of the Worcester County Commissioners some time in the near future.  If approved, the spray irrigation project is projected to cost an additional $6 million.

Kreiter says that they hope to have the upgrade and expansion project in Berlin completed by December, but adds that the recent bad weather has pushed them far behind where they should be.  When completed, this plant will be the largest wastewater treatment plant in Maryland that spray irrigates.

Touring the Berlin, MD Wastewater Treatment Plant construction site are (l-r) Dr. Merle Marsh, Director of Special Projects, Worcester Preparatory School; Jane Kreiter, Director of Wastewater; student reporter Jamie Welch, Worcester Preparatory School; and James C. Latchum, Superintendent of Wastewater, Berlin, MD.

Touring the Berlin, MD Wastewater Treatment Plant construction site are (l-r) Dr. Merle Marsh, Director of Special Projects, Worcester Preparatory School; Jane Kreiter, Director of Wastewater; student reporter Jamie Welch, Worcester Preparatory School; and James C. Latchum, Superintendent of Wastewater, Berlin, MD.

Berlin, MD Superintendent of Wastewater James C. Latchum (l) with Worcester Prep reporter Jamie Welch.

Berlin, MD Superintendent of Wastewater James C. Latchum (l) with Worcester Prep reporter Jamie Welch.