Washington, DC – U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, today announced $52,000 in U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) funding for the Town of Hartwick. The funding will come from two separate grants, both of which will be used to conduct Preliminary Engineering Reports along the Route 28 Corridor.
The first grant, from USDA’s Special Evaluation Assistance for Rural Communities and Households (SEARCH) Program, will provide $30,000 to study alternative options for providing drinking water services for the properties along the Route 28 corridor. The second grant, from USDA’s Water and Waste Disposal Predevelopment Planning Grants Program, will provide $22,000 to study alternative options for providing sewer services for the properties along the Route 28 Corridor.
“This federal investment is good news for the town of Hartwick,” said Senator Schumer. “These federal funds are a step in the right direction and will ultimately help Hartwick make critical investments in water infrastructure, boost economic development, and protect public health. I am proud to announce this federal investment and will continue to fight to make sure that rural communities have the tools they need to grow and prosper.”
“With this funding, Hartwick will have the resources it needs to plan out the best way to upgrade its water and sewer systems. Clean water and reliable sewer systems are essential if we want more businesses to open up and create jobs in our communities,” said Senator Gillibrand. “This funding is great news for residents and businesses along the Route 28 Corridor, and I will continue to fight for resources that help communities in New York thrive.”
The Route 28 Corridor functions as the main access route to Cooperstown and has recently seen the development of various businesses, lodgings, and restaurants to support the demand for local baseball fields that host tournaments and training camps. Residences and commercial properties currently rely on private wells for drinking water and on individual septic systems for sewer services. New businesses have had to resolve their own issues on the disposal of sewage. A municipal water and sewer system would help support economic investment and protect the town’s underlying drinking water aquifer.
The USDA SEARCH Program provides funding to small, financially distressed rural communities. Funding can be used for feasibility studies for water or waste disposal projects, the preliminary design and engineering analysis of such projects, and technical assistance to secure the funding needed for upgrades to their water and sewer systems. The USDA Water and Waste Disposal Predevelopment Planning Grants Program assists low-income communities with funding to help to pay for costs associated with developing a complete application for USDA Rural Development Water & Waste Disposal direct loan/grant and loan guarantee programs.