CENTRAL WAYNE—The Central Wayne Regional Authority recently received $679,000 in grant funding and a $700,000 loan from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant program as part of ongoing wastewater improvement projects.

According to Tammy Jensen, Administrator of the Central Wayne Regional Authority, this is the second round of funding in a three-phase project exceeding $12 million in total costs.

According to a USDA release, the funding will be used to construct a collection system to provide services to White Mills, carrying an estimated service population of 2,569 residents.

Jensen noted this project has been in the works for at least as long as the Central Wayne Regional Authority has existed, now reaching back over a decade of combined service to Honesdale Borough, Cherry Ridge Township and Texas Township.

“We've been working on it for a very long time and I think everyone's glad to see it finally happening,” said Jensen, noting, “It's going to have a great impact on the community.

Work is already beginning around Old Willow Avenue and the Route 6 Mall, and will continue throughout the year.

Jensen noted the expected completion date will be late spring 2020.

The USDA estimates the project will deliver service to 271 new dwelling units and will “...alleviate a health and sanitary problem in this community.”

Jensen noted many of the on-lot septic systems in White Mills are aging and starting to malfunction, often needing servicing more frequently than they would otherwise.

Connecting regional authority services to White Mills is “...a great project for the community,” said Jensen.

The USDA release also notes the project will see around 6,250 linear feet of main interceptor replaced along the Lacawaxen River in Honesdale Borough.

Jensen clarified this work is part of the first phase and is already nearing completion.

The rehabilitated pipes are expected to reduce infiltration of stormwater into the sewer system.

The Water and Waste Disposal funding is part of $116 million in federal funding allocated to rural communities looking to rebuild and improve rural water infrastructure.

Working with local partners to provide financing, the Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant program is financing 49 rural projects in 23 states across America.

Investment in rural infrastructure was a recommendation form the 2018 report of the Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity, itself created in April 2017 by President Donald Trump.

—Information from a release was used in this story.