U.S. Senators Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and U.S. Representative John J. Duncan, Jr. (R-Tenn.2) today announced a total of $405,640 in water infrastructure funding for the City of Etowah from the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC). These funds along with $1 million from the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration (EDA) and $989,085 from local sources will be used for upgrades to the city’s water treatment plant and wastewater sewer system. Etowah’s aging water infrastructure can no longer support the growing needs of the community. These upgrades will help retain more than 180 jobs at the North Etowah Industrial Park and improve water service for more than 1,500 households.
“This funding will help bring much needed upgrades to the water services the Etowah community relies on,” Alexander said. “ARC’s continued investment in our rural communities is bringing a better way of life to many Tennesseans.”
“These improvements to Etowah’s water related infrastructure will help enhance water service in homes and businesses, protect jobs, and support economic growth in the region. In the midst of an economic crisis, projects like these are just the kinds of things that will renew confidence and reinvigorate private investment in the area,” Corker said. “I appreciate the ARC’s commitment to supporting the people and communities throughout Appalachia.”
“Difficult economic times hit rural America and Appalachia especially hard. I am pleased that these funds will provide a much-needed upgrade to public services as well as retain many jobs in a region that desperately needs them,” said Congressman Duncan. “With many billions of dollars given to banks and Wall Street over the past six months, it is important to remember what a comparatively small amount of funding can do for a rural community.”
The ARC is a federal-state partnership that supports economic development and improved quality of life in Appalachia. Appalachia, as defined in the legislation from which the ARC derives its authority, is a 200,000-square-mile region that follows the spine of the Appalachian Mountains from southern New York to northern Mississippi. It includes all of West Virginia and parts of 12 other states: Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia. About 23 million people live in the 410 counties of the Appalachian Region; 42 percent of the Region's population is rural, compared with 20 percent of the national population.
The Tennessee counties included as part of the ARC include: Anderson, Bledsoe, Blount, Bradley, Campbell, Cannon, Carter, Claiborne, Clay, Cocke, Coffee, Cumberland, De Kalb, Fentress, Franklin, Grainger, Greene, Grundy, Hamblen, Hamilton, Hancock, Hawkins, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Knox, Lawrence, Lewis, Loudon, McMinn, Macon, Marion, Meigs, Monroe, Morgan, Overton, Pickett, Polk, Putnam, Rhea, Roane, Scott, Sequatchie, Sevier, Smith, Sullivan, Unicoi, Union, Van Buren, Warren, Washington, and White.