Akron receives $2 million from USDA for rural water infrastructure

The Town of Akron is receiving a $2,114,000 loan to complete the separation of a combined sanitary sewer collection system for the residents in rural Fulton County.

The money is part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s latest investment of $17.4 million for three projects in Indiana. The funding is through the Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant program, which can be used to finance drinking water, stormwater drainage and waste disposal systems for rural communities with 10,000 or fewer residents.

The combined portion of the system in Akron collects significant storm water flows from inlet connections along state and local roads. These excessive flows prevent the wastewater treatment and collection system from functioning properly.

The town is under an order by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management to make health and safety improvements. It faces fines and will be unable to make additional hookups until the problem is fixed.

Other funding for this project includes a $20,000 applicant contribution and a $600,000 grant from the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs.

Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Anne Hazlett says the USDA is committing to being a strong partner to rural communities when rebuilding and upgrading water infrastructure.

“All people – regardless of their zip code – need modern, reliable infrastructure to thrive, and we have found that when we address this need, many other challenges in rural places become much more manageable,” she explains.