ABINGDON, Va. ― The Washington County Service Authority (WCSA) recently received $18.5 million in financial assistance from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development’s Rural Utilities Service (RUS).
The funding package includes an RUS grant in the amount of $9,165,000 and an RUS loan in the amount of $9,355,000. The funding will be used to extend sanitary sewer to residents and businesses along Lee Highway and Jonesboro Road between Exit 13 and the city of Bristol, Virginia.
“We are delighted to receive RUS funding to help us provide crucial sewer services to more of our community members,” says Robbie Cornett, general manager of WCSA. “This is one of the largest grants in WCSA’s history. When constructed, this project will provide the backbone for a sewer conveyance system along the Lee Highway corridor area, and will also enable WCSA to extend public sewer service from the conveyance system into neighborhoods along these two corridors.”
The RUS-funded project will involve the construction of nearly 67,000 feet of force main line, more than 42,000 feet of gravity sewer line, and four pumping stations. When the overall sewer expansion project is complete, approximately 842 existing residents and businesses will have access to public sewer service. The project is currently in the planning stages and will be completed in a series of phases.
“We are very excited about the prospect of obtaining sewer service for this area,” says Dwayne Ball, member of the Washington County Board of Supervisors, who represents the Wilson election district. “I believe that it will be a great asset to the area and will promote business growth in the county. Many neighborhoods in the area will benefit from the line extension as well. I greatly appreciate the work that Robbie Cornett and the Washington County Service Authority did in procuring the grant. I would also like to thank Rep. Morgan Griffith and his staff for their efforts in the process. Our board looks forward to working with them on future endeavors.”
USDA’s RUS administers programs that provide much-needed infrastructure or infrastructure improvements to rural communities. These include water and waste treatment, electric power and telecommunications services. All of these services play a critical role in helping to expand economic opportunities and improve the quality of life for rural residents. Utilities programs connect rural residents to the global economy by developing reliable and affordable rural water and wastewater systems, among other services, systems and technologies.
“Several years ago, the board of supervisors and WCSA’s board of commissioners commissioned a study on the provision of sewer service in the Exit 13 area,” Cornett says. “Since that time, we have been fortunate to achieve several projects that have benefited a number of residents and businesses in the Exit 13 area. This newest project is the next step in a long line of forward-thinking objectives that will help bring public sewer service to this portion of Washington County.”
Completed projects include:
– The Exit 13 Force Main Project constructed approximately 18,000 feet of 16‐inch force main sewer line from the WCSA Spring Creek pump station to the Town of Abingdon’s west interceptor. Completed in 2013, this project was the foundation for the Exit 13 Wastewater System Phase 1 and all future phases.
– The Exit 13 Phase 1 Sewer Project provided wastewater service for 256 residential connections in a high-density residential area along Old Jonesboro Road between I-81 exits 13 and 14, including portions of the Westwood and Westwood View subdivisions. Total investment was $7.09 million and the project was completed in 2013.
– The Oak Park Wastewater Expansion Project featured construction of a sewer system to serve 21 new residential, commercial and industrial connections along Lee Highway, and six existing industrial connections in the Oak Park Center for Business and Industry. The project, which was completed in 2013, provided 500,000 gallons-per-day sewer capacity for new or expanding industry.
– The Exit 13 Phase 2A Sewer Project consisted of installation of a sewer main from Spring Creek Road to the Virginia Highlands airport, as well as some branch lines or laterals to provide service for customers who are not directly adjacent to the Oak Park Wastewater Expansion Project. A total investment of nearly $1.2 million resulted in 47 new commercial and residential connections. The project was completed in 2017
– The Exit 13 Phase 3 Sewer Project provided service to portions of McCray Drive and the Foxfire subdivision. A total investment of $1.2 million provided 46 new residential connections. The project was completed in late 2018.