The state director for USDA Rural Development continues to travel up and down Illinois highlighting various projects.

This week included a stop in the southern part of the state for a water infrastructure project.

“It’s something that Vandalia has been in need of for more than a few years,” said Douglas Wilson. “It’s a combination of a loan and a grant from USDA.”

The USDA loan and grant package totaled $18 million. The funding is through the agency’s Water and Environmental Loan & Grant Program.

“We were also able to pick up an additional $3 million grant from the Economic Development Administration so it’s kind of extra little bonus for the town of Vandalia,” he said.

The project will impact approximately 5,000 residents and include upgrades to water intakes and pumps and extend 10,000 feet of water line.  

“We talk about broadband a lot, but water and waste-water disposal are still much needed infrastructure,” Wilson said.

Speaking of broadband, money is also being extended for a project in southern Illinois. A $3.4 million USDA grant was just released to expand fiber in rural Hamilton County.

Communities seeking details on the many USDA rural development programs can find that information online or by calling 217-403-6200