Pingree Announces $1.59M in USDA Rural Development Funds for Richmond Utilities District
Portland, Maine, November 22, 2019
Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) today announced the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has approved a loan of $800,000 and a grant of $790,000 from the Rural Development program for the Richmond Utilities District, totaling $1.59 million in investments for wastewater treatment in the town. The funds will be used to complete the 2017 Treatment Plant Upgrades Project.
“Every Mainer deserves access to clean water—including the 563 people who rely on Richmond’s treatment plant to be efficient and effective,” said Pingree. “These long overdue upgrades will ensure a cleaner Kennebec River, which is a lifeline for the Town of Richmond, and will mitigate any health hazards that currently exist. I was proud to advocate for this funding on the Appropriations Committee and I know it will have a measurable impact on the community.”
The Richmond Water Treatment Plant has been under construction since 2017. Construction costs have come in substantially higher than original estimates. This $1.59 million in additional funding for the District will allow for complete rehabilitation of their wastewater treatment plant to address the aging infrastructure and capacity issues in the project area and will provide some upgrades to the administrative office. The proposed project will not only correct the system's current operating deficiencies, but also help the town improve their economic development opportunities.
The Kennebec River—an important part of the Town of Richmond—is a significant resource for the region, valued for recreation, freshwater, and a diverse, expansive wildlife habitat. These upgrades will help the system operate more effectively and efficiently, curing health hazards and improving the water quality of the Kennebec.