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Home » News » Press Releases » Press Release - Bland County Receives Funding for Water System Improvements

Press Release - Bland County Receives Funding for Water System Improvements
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Media Release: April 26, 2016



(The County of Bland, Virginia) – U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development announce the awarding of $2.4 million to Bland County Service Authority for water system improvements.

"The Board of Supervisors and the Service Authority have been working diligently to make improvements to the public water and sewer systems in the county," stated Nick Asbury, chairman of the Bland County Service Authority and member of the Board of Supervisors. "We are excited about the announcement by USDA Rural Development, because without grant funding it makes completion of water projects challenging."

The project will include a new membrane filtration system at the Bland water plant, replace approximately 9,300 linear feet of water line in Bland and South Gap, installation of telemetry equipment, as well as water tank rehabilitation. The system serves approximately 535 residents and 55 commercial customers.

"Outdated water systems are unhealthy for people and the economy, which is a reason we work every day with Virginia localities to find solutions to water infrastructure challenges and other issues," said USDA Rural Development’s Virginia State Director, Basil Gooden, Ph.D. in the USDA press release. "Solutions to these challenges create ripple effects that improve the economy, quality of life and environment in rural Virginia."

Currently the Bland Water Plant has a production capacity of about 40,000 gallons per day and there is significant water loss in the distribution of the water due to the age of the system. The new facility will increase capacity to approximately 200,000 gallons per day and address many issues associated with water loss.

Funding for the project is provided in the form of grant and low-interest loan by USDA Rural Development. Project funding includes a $1,000,000 grant and $1,463,000 loan. The debt service payment on the loan is estimated at $53,000 annually. The anticipated annual savings in operations and maintenance by improving the facility is $58,000. Thus, the anticipated annual savings of the project is more than the anticipated cost.

"We are excited with the announcement by USDA Rural Development. The program has provided tremendous support to the county over the years as we continuously seek and rely on grant funding opportunities to make infrastructural improvements across the county", stated Karen Hodock, Chairman of the Bland County Board of Supervisors.

CHA Consulting of Blacksburg, Virginia has been selected and will serve as the engineering firm on the project.

The project is still in design phase and an anticipated start of construction date has not been set.


Rodney Ratliff, Dep. County Administrator, Director of Public Works, County of Bland

Phone: (276) 688-4622 Email: rratliff@bland.org


Dr. Eric Workman, County Administrator, County of Bland

Phone: (276) 688-4622 Email: eworkman@bland.org


The County of Bland is an equal opportunity provider and employer.