$13.35 million to be invested in rural communities’ infrastructure

The twin water towers of Canton, Kansas, were recently repainted, according to Linda Klatt, city clerk. While one is labeled hot and the other cold, the water within both is actually the same temperature. (Journal photo by Jennifer Theurer.)

U.S. Department of Agriculture Kansas State Director for Rural Development Christy Davis recently announced $13.35 million in loans and grants to upgrade water and electrical systems in rural Kansas communities.

USDA Rural Development is working to provide rural communities with the infrastructure they need to succeed,” Davis said.

These Kansas projects are part of a larger national announcement that includes 39 other states. USDA is making the investments through the Electric Infrastructure Loan and Loan Guarantee Program as well as the Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant Program. The funding will help improve and repair water and wastewater treatment and connect homes and businesses in rural areas to reliable power.

The details of the Kansas investments are:

• An $8,918,000 loan will help connect 180 consumers to 184 miles of new or improved electrical line. Ninnescah Rural Electric is headquartered in the city of Pratt. It provides service across more than 2,134 miles of line to approximately 4,200 consumers in ten south central Kansas counties (Pawnee, Stafford, Reno, Edwards, Pratt, Kingman, Kiowa, Comanche, Barber and Harper).

• A $1,868,000 loan and a $2,569,000 grant will complete the replacement of the distribution system and construction of new storage towers for Russell County Rural Water District No. 3. Rural Development previously provided funding for this project with a $5,014,000 loan and a $2,783,000 grant in 2020.

USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities, create jobs and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety, and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural, tribal and high-poverty areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov.