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Federal, East Spencer officials celebrate beginning of water project

EAST SPENCER ó Representatives of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Rep. Mel Watt and U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Dole joined East Spencer officials Tuesday in breaking ground on work to fix the town’s broken-down water system.
“This project is so important to this community because it will provide for much-needed repairs to a water system that has been a long-standing burden on its citizens,” John Cooper, state director of the Agriculture Department’s Rural Development section, said. “USDA Rural Development is committed to ensuring that our rural communities have the resources to provide the essential services that impact our daily lives.
“We are indeed grateful to Congressman Watt and Senator Dole for their support of Rural Development programs.”
The Rural Development section is providing a $11.65 million low-interest loan and a $105,000 grant for the project, which includes new waterlines and improvements to the town’s entire water system.
“I am pleased that the town of East Spencer received the funding necessary to improve the waterlines and overall cost effectiveness of their water system,” Watt said in a statement. “It has been a long time coming, and the citizens of East Spencer deserve it.”
Dole’s office called the beginning of the project “gratifying.”
East Spencer Mayor Erma Jefferies expressed her gratitude to the Department of Agriculture and both members of Congress for their assistance.”On behalf of the town’s board, we would also like to thank the citizens for their patience for the last two years as the town officials worked through the many mandatory phases needed to bring this project to its starting point,” Jefferies said.
The Rural Development section’s mission is to increase economic opportunity and improve the quality of life for rural residents. Since 2001, the agency has invested more than $91 billion for equity and technical assistance to finance and foster growth in homeownership, business development and critical community and technology services.
The federal agency says more than 1.7 million jobs have been created or saved through these investments.
More information on rural programs is available at the Rural Development Web site, www.rurdev.usda.gov.

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