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Loans secured – A USDA Rural Water and Waste Disposal loan program will facilitate a long-planned expansion of the Henderson-Nina Water System to include the Butte LaRose area. Other improvements will be made to enhance water quality.(Karl Jeter)

USDA $$ to fund Henderson-Nina water extensions

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced that the Henderson-Nina Water System will receive loan funding in excess of $8.5 million for expansion and improvements to the system.
The Henderson-Nina system was selected to participate in the department’s Water and Waste Disposal Grant and Loan Program, which invests federal funds to promote infrastructure development in rural areas.
Among other improvements, the funds will help complete the previously-approved extension of the system to serve the Butte LaRose community. More than 780 new customers will be added to the system as a result of the expansion.
The funds will also be used to add a new well, and filtration and water-softening systems which will improve water quality, and a more efficient pump motor for the existing system will help reduce ongoing costs.
The USDA program offers grant funding to communities that qualify based on median income, water rates and other factors. Henderson-Nina did not qualify for a grant, but was able to secure favorable “direct loan” funding through the program.
Callie Francois, Community Program specialist for the USDA Rural Development Program, told the Teche News that the program operates alongside local lending institutions at the beginning of approved improvement programs, then takes over as primary lender after work is underway.
Henderson-Nina managers Perry Serrette and Ray Robin told the Teche News the plan calls for a water line to be extended south along the Henderson Levee to provide service to the business operations there. It will continue to cross at the Butte LaRose bridge and proceed along Herman Dupuis Road to the Atchafalaya River Hwy/LA 3177 and turn north for several miles.
Well water in the Butte LaRose and Atchafalaya River areas has been determined to contain dangerous pollutants such as arsenic and barium. The time frame for the project will depend on the pace of lending institutions and the Corps of Engineers permitting process.

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