Want to open the faucet and see brown, gritty, unsafe water? Move to St. Joseph, Louisiana, where the town’s water system is irreparably fouled by decades of neglect. The impoverished town is not alone, according to the Center for Investigative Reporting:
“St. Joseph, population 1,029, is one of thousands of small towns across the country that have no access to safe, clean drinking water. The reason: The towns can’t afford it.”
The state of Louisiana stepped in to fund a new water system for St. Joseph. Many other towns turn to the Rural Utilities Service, a USDA program that disburses loans and grants to small towns (population 10,000 or less) for water systems. Or did – Trump’s budget will close down the entire program.
The USDA Rural Utilities Service budget last year — FY 2017 — was only $498 million. This year the Trump administration budget cuts out the program entirely. Zero dollars. Zero help for small towns. Zero future for a program that has been wildly successful. Continue reading