WHITE HALL, Ala. — The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) will provide $4.9 million for several new projects in rural Alabama, according to a press release.

The efforts “will protect public safety and health, improve water and wastewater infrastructure and create expanded economic opportunities in rural Alabama,” noted the release.

“The investments that USDA is announcing in Alabama today are vital to protect public health and safety and improve the economic well-being of the state’s rural residents,” U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in the release. “USDA is proud to work with Alabama’s state and local leaders to make these projects a reality.”

Funds will assist cities and other agencies in determining costs of upgrading their water systems, among other efforts, stated the release. Funds will also be awarded through USDA’s Rural Business Development Grant program to support jobs in the region.

The USDA Rural Energy for America Program will support several businesses and organizations with equipment such as energy efficient windows, HVAC systems, LED lighting, tankless water heaters and solar panels, reported the release.

USDA has invested nearly $18 billion in rural economies over the past six years, shared the release.

Click here to read the entire release.

Click here to read about the full list of projects.