INDIANAPOLIS — A Northwest Indiana community is receiving a portion of the $116 million in loans and grants recently awarded by the federal government to improve rural water infrastructure throughout the country.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is providing Rensselaer a $3.4 million loan, along with a $1.7 million grant, to connect three unserved areas of the Jasper County city to the municipal sewer system, and to replace the city's main lift station.
The homes set to be connected to the Rensselaer sewer system currently are served by individual septic systems that do not perform well in rainy conditions, according to the USDA.
"Modern and reliable infrastructure is essential to the growth and development of rural Indiana communities," said Michael Dora, USDA Indiana rural development director.
"These projects ensure the continuation of safe, sanitary, water/wastewater services and allow for economic prosperity."
Nationwide, the federal agency is financing water, storm water and wastewater projects in 49 rural communities with less than 10,000 residents.
The town of Troy, located on the Ohio River at Indiana's southern edge, is the only other Hoosier community to receive an award.
It's getting an $182,000 federal loan to help finance construction of a new water treatment plant and related equipment.