New Albany Gazette
Lawmakers announce $14.1 million USDA Rural Development Award for New Albany wastewater plant
By J. Lynn West
U.S. Senators Roger Wicker, R-Miss., and Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Miss., and Representative Trent Kelly, R-Miss., this past week praised the approval of a $14.1 million loan and grant package from the U.S. Department of Agriculture that will allow the City of New Albany to replace its wastewater treatment system.
The New Albany award is among nine awards to Mississippi from the USDA Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant program. The combined grant and loan awards total $29.4 million for water and wastewater improvements throughout Mississippi ($20,516,000 loans and $8,920,000 grants).
The Mississippi lawmakers credited John Rounsaville, State Director for USDA Rural Development in Mississippi, and New Albany Mayor Tim Kent for reaching an agreement on the Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant award.
“Every Mississippi community deserves strong public infrastructure that can support a thriving economy,” Wicker said. “With this award, New Albany can move forward with essential upgrades to its wastewater treatment facilities. I applaud Director Rounsaville and Mayor Kent for their efforts to bring the city into compliance with federal standards and to support safer, cleaner water for years to come.”
“This financing is imperative to give New Albany an economically-feasible option to improve a critical service for its residents. It is this type of infrastructure improvement that is key to a rural community’s quality of life and ability to grow,” said Hyde-Smith, who serves on the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee. “I commend State Director Rounsaville and Mayor Kent for their diligence on this proposal.”
“This critical infrastructure project is much-needed for New Albany,” Kelly said. “State Director Rounsaville and Mayor Kent did a great job working together to help this community. I look forward to working with our communities to help fund important infrastructure projects like this one.”
“This grant/loan will allow the City of New Albany to do a much needed project that otherwise we couldn’t do,” Kent said. “I want to offer a special thanks Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith, Senator Roger Wicker, and Congressman Trent Kelly for their assistance. Without them this project would not have been possible.”
New Albany will use a $7,886,000 loan and $6,214,000 grant to construct a new mechanically-based wastewater treatment plant and renovate failing components of the city’s existing wastewater treatment system.
The new treatment facility would be relocated to help mitigate environmental problems associated with the current plant. These improvements would allow for more growth, while also meeting the renewal permit requirements from regulatory agencies.