October 24, 2002

USDA Reps Meet With Rural Water District To Finalize Funding Plan

Members of the Consolidated Public Water Supply District #1 met with representatives from USDA Rural Development October 17 in Memphis to finalize funding for a new water source for the rural water operation. Pictured (L to R) are district manager Bill Camp, board members J.D. Nelson and Kenny Eggleston, Dan Niemeyer of USDA, Scott Callicott from Congressman Kenny Hulshof's office, LeAnn McClannahan and Rande Bryan.

Representatives of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development met with officers for the Consolidated Public Water Supply District #1 of Scotland County on October 17 to deliver the Letters of Conditions for the district's grant and loan.

The rural water district has been approved for an $850,000 grant from USDA as well as a $693,000 loan to allow the water supplier to establish a connection for water from the Rathbun Regional Water Association near Centerville, IA. The project will also include the construction of a new elevated storage tank as well as other system improvements.

The connection is needed to provide adequate water to the 1,205 rural water customers in Scotland County. The City of Memphis has been providing water to the rural water district, however with continued growth and the increased demand from both city residents and rural customers was creating the need for a new water treatment plant to meet the demand. Establishing a connection for the rural water district was the most economical and feasible solution for both entities.

"This community was facing a water supply situation," said Dan Niemeyer of the USDA Rural Development office in Kirksville. "The City of Memphis is the current supplier for the rural water district. The demand was placing a strain on the city's water plant. So it was either fund a $3.5 million project for a new water plant or spend $1.5 million to connect to the other water source."

Niemeyer added that the project will not only benefit the rural water patrons but residents of the City of Memphis as well because of the decrease demands on the city's water plant.

"This connection will allow both entities to provide safe, adequate and quality water service to their customers for years to come," said Bill Camp, manager of the rural water district. "It will be the most cost effective for both the City of Memphis and the Water District."

The Letter of Conditions established the USDA criteria for the district to receive the grant and loan. Conditions for the funding included easements for the new water line and water tower. Other conditions include the completion of the engineering work and real estate surveys and finalization of the water contract with Rathbun Regional Water Association.

Camp indicated the engineering work is underway and the district already has a number of easements secured.

Niemeyer stated he believed the easement process could be completed by the end of the year allowing the project to move forward.

The Rathbun Regional Water Association currently serves parts of Putnam and Schuyler counties in Missouri as well as much of southern Iowa.

Funding for this project was provided by USDA Rural Development. USDA Rural Development's mission is to enhance the ability for rural communities to develop, grow and improve the quality of life in rural areas.

Greg Branum, state director for USDA Rural Development said the organization's water and waste water loan and grant program's purpose is to provide these services at reasonable rates that residents of Missouri can afford.

"USDA Rural Development appreciates the opportunity to assist local water districts in providing quality service to the residents of rural Missouri," Branum said.

USDA Rural Development provides a variety of programs such as single family housing, multi-family housing, community facility loans and grants, business and industry loans, rural business opportunity grants, as well as the water and waste water loan and grant program.

For additional information on the USDA Rural Development programs contact the USDA Rural Development office in Kirksville at 660-665-3274, extension four, or stop by the office at 2410 S. Franklin, Kirksville, MO 63501.

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