NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Two East Tennessee communities will be receiving grants and loans as part of the $5.2 billion investment by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The investment will be spread across 46 states and the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico.
Tennessee Rural Development acting State Director Dan Beasley says more than $163 million in loans and grants will be invested across the state.
“Today’s investment will impact the lives of rural Tennesseans by expanding access to broadband and electricity, and improving wastewater infrastructure in our communities,” Beasley said. “These investments will highlight our agency’s commitment to a stronger rural Tennessee for years to come.”
Scott County Telephone Cooperative will use a $3 million grant to construct a 176-mile fiber-to-the-premises system to benefit 2,330 residents and 25 businesses in parts of Grainger and Hawkins County, as well as Clinch Valley, Virginia.
Subscribers will have access to internet service up to 1 gigabyte per second, expanding access to economic, educational, health care, and public safety opportunities. A community center will be provided in an existing building where residents can access the internet free of charge for at least two years.
In Hawkins County the Sneedville Utility District will use a $186,000 loan and $219,000 grant to provide potable water to the Newman’s Ridge community. The project includes installing 9,140 feet of 4-inch water line. The project also includes renovations to a pump station and adding additional pump stations.