U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $1,492,250 in federal funding for the Town of Wawarsing in Ulster County. The funding is provided through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Rural Development Grant Program and will be used to renovate water infrastructure in the Hamlet of Kerhonkson. Specifically, the funding will be used to replace 12,480 feet of outdated, asbestos-cement piping and cast iron piping with new pipes made using modern materials. The funding will also be used to replace water storage tanks. This funding is part of the Rural Economic Area Partnership (REAP) Zone designation for the Town of Wawarsing, a designation that Senator Gillibrand fought for in the 2018 Farm Bill. This designation provides technical assistance and additional funding from USDA Rural Development to support community development efforts that are critical to an area’s economic development.
“This federal investment is great news for public health in the Town of Wawarsing and Ulster County,” said Senator Schumer. “These federal funds will allow the Town of Wawarsing to refurbish and modernize its water distribution system, helping to ensure that all residents have access to the safe and clean drinking water they deserve. I am proud to announce this federal investment and will continue fighting to ensure rural communities across Upstate New York have the resources they need to build, protect and maintain their infrastructure.”
“A reliable water system is essential to the health, wellbeing, and economic development of our communities,” said Senator Gillibrand. “This funding will help the Town of Wawarsing replace aging pipes in the Hamlet of Kerhonkson’s water system and update the hamlet’s water storage tanks so that residents have access to clean drinking water. I am proud that this federal investment is a result of the REAP Zone program that I fought to extend in the Farm Bill. I will always work in the Senate to ensure that New Yorkers have the resources they need to be healthy.”
“We are grateful that the USDA has invested in the prosperity of the Town of Wawarsing and the Hamlet of Kerhonkson. With these rural development funds, we will improve our water infrastructure by replacing 9,360 linear feet of asbestos-cement piping and 3,120 linear feet of cast iron piping with properly sized, modern pipe. Additionally, improvements will include replacing of the water storage tanks and installing new water meters for all district accounts. We thank Senators Schumer and Gillibrand for their continued support of the USDA Rural Development grant program as well as Gretchen Pinkel of the local USDA office in securing the most recent $1,492,250 that assists communities like ours, throughout New York and across the nation, in receiving funds to make much-needed infrastructure improvements.” said Terry Houck, Town of Wawarsing Supervisor.
The USDA Rural Development Program provided this funding through the Water and Waste Disposal Loans and Grants Program, which provides loans and grants to ensure that the necessary investments are made in water and wastewater infrastructure to deliver safe drinking water and protect the environment in rural areas. More information can be found here.