ARIZONA NEWS

Rural Arizona communities get $19.3M for critical infrastructure improvements

Dec 20, 2021, 4:25 AM | Updated: 7:25 am

(Facebook Photo/Navajo Tribal Utility Authority)...

(Facebook Photo/Navajo Tribal Utility Authority)

(Facebook Photo/Navajo Tribal Utility Authority)

PHOENIX — The USDA announced Friday it is investing $19.3 million to build and improve critical infrastructure in rural Arizona communities.

The announcement, which follows the recently-approved Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, will help expand access to clean water and high-speed internet in homes and businesses.

“Rural infrastructure is so much more than constructing water treatment facilities, laying pipes, or building power lines,” Charlene Fernandez, USDA Rural Development Arizona State director, said in a press release.

“Infrastructure includes the essential parts and pieces of a community that make daily life possible. Our investments today highlight USDA’s commitment to ensuring rural communities in Arizona have the modern, responsive water and broadband services they need to keep moving forward.”

Quartzsite is getting a $1.3 million loan and a $6.9 million grant to expand its wastewater system, while the Navajo Tribal Utility Authority will receive a $3.3 million grant to improve its wastewater treatment plant with upgraded equipment and technology.

Valley Pioneers Water Company Inc., which serves a portion of Golden Valley, receives a $4 million loan guarantee to make improvements to an aging water system.

NTUA Wireless, LLC will build a 30-mile Fiber-to-the-Premises system with a $1.8 million Community Connect grant that will expand access to economic, educational, health care and public safety opportunities for 12 community facilities sites in the Teec Nos Pos and surrounding area of the Navajo Reservation in Apache County and San Juan County, New Mexico.

The Inter Tribal Council of Arizona Inc. will also get a $1 million grant to provide technical assistance, training and operator certification services to small and rural tribal communities in the state, along with additional an $82,200 grant to assist member tribes in effectively managing and mitigating solid waste.

The rest of the funds will go to the Yuma County Improvement District to make water improvements in Tacna, Painted Desert Demonstration Projects Inc. for a technical assistance and training program, Arizona State University to design recycling programs, Graham County Utilities, Inc. to prepare an engineering report and environmental report for its service area in Fort Thomas and Yarnell Water Improvement Association to also prepare an engineering report and an environmental report.

More than 350 similar investments were made nationwide as part of the announcement, totaling $5.2 billion.

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Rural Arizona communities get $19.3M for critical infrastructure improvements