Planning reports funded for six rural Virginia water and waste projects

Published 7:32 am Monday, December 7, 2015

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Virginia Rural Development office recently announced it will invest in planning and evaluation processes critical to six rural Virginia localities’ water and sewer infrastructure.

Among those chosen was Charlotte Court House, which will receive $30,000 in SEARCH grant funds to develop preliminary engineering and environmental reports to evaluate the development of a public sewer system.

Residents in Charlotte Court House are currently served by private septic systems and drain fields, which are failing. Raw sewage seeps above ground, creating a health hazard.

“Our planning grants fund what will be the foundation of, and a major catalyst for, providing residents with access and updates to essential services,” said Jim Maras, Virginia community program director, USDA Rural Development. “Preliminary engineering and environmental reports needed for infrastructure upgrades are often out of reach financially for rural localities, which are reasons why we’re proud to offer these grants as means for empowering localities across Virginia to launch projects safely and effectively.”

Most of the grants announced are USDA Rural Development SEARCH grants, which help very small, financially distressed rural communities with pre-development feasibility studies, design assistance and technical assistance on proposed water and waste disposal projects.

Also included in announcement is a Pre-development Planning Grant (PPG), which assists low-income communities with initial planning and development of an application for USDA Rural Development Water and Waste Disposal direct loan/grant and loan guarantee programs.

Funding is contingent upon the recipients meeting the terms of their grant agreement.

Louisa, Independence, Pulaski, Henry County PSA and St. Charles Water and Sewer Authority were also selected for projects.