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U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, today announced $52,000 in U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) funding for the Town of Hartwick. The funding will come from two separate grants, both of which will be used to conduct Preliminary Engineering Reports along the Route 28 Corridor.
 
The first grant, from USDA’s Special Evaluation Assistance for Rural Communities and Households (SEARCH) Program, will provide $30,000 to study alternative options for providing drinking water services for the properties along the Route 28 corridor. The second grant, from USDA’s Water and Waste Disposal Pre-development Planning Grants Program, will provide $22,000 to study alternative options for providing sewer services for the properties along the Route 28 Corridor.
 
The Route 28 Corridor functions as the main access route to Cooperstown and has recently seen the development of various businesses, lodgings, and restaurants to support the demand for local baseball fields that host tournaments and training camps. Residences and commercial properties currently rely on private wells for drinking water and on individual septic systems for sewer services. New businesses have had to resolve their own issues on the disposal of sewage. A municipal water and sewer system would help support economic investment and protect the town’s underlying drinking water aquifer.
 
The USDA SEARCH Program provides funding to small, financially distressed rural communities. Funding can be used for feasibility studies for water or waste disposal projects, the preliminary design and engineering analysis of such projects, and technical assistance to secure the funding needed for upgrades to their water and sewer systems. The USDA Water and Waste Disposal Predevelopment Planning Grants Program assists low-income communities with funding to help to pay for costs associated with developing a complete application for USDA Rural Development Water & Waste Disposal direct loan/grant and loan guarantee programs.