Currently, SERCAP’s Facilities Development Grant Program is providing both Technical Assistance (TA) and Financial Assistance (FA) to support an 80-year-old Water Treatment Plant located in the Town of Fries in Grayson County, Virginia. The Town of Fries is a small, rural community, incorporated in 1902, and nestled along the banks of the New River. Initially, Fries was a textile manufacturing town with a population that grew to 2,500 residents at its peak. However, after the textile plant closed in the 1980s, the Town’s population declined until reaching its current population of just under 450 residents. Approximately 50% of the Town’s population is 60-years-old or older, with a median age of 56.8 years-old, and a median household income (MHI) of just $32,917.00, about 43% of the Commonwealth’s MHI.
The Town’s Water Treatment Plant was constructed 80 years ago to supply residents with drinking water during the peak of the Town’s boom years. However, the original plant is still operating today, and while periodic repairs and minor upgrades have been made over the years, the operation remains largely unchanged. SERCAP has been working with the Town of Fries to address its water operations challenges for many years, but the Town is just now ready to upgrade its Water Treatment Plant, with assistance from Grayson County. Due to the Town’s very rural and somewhat isolated location, the plant is especially susceptible to power outages, and is in need of an emergency backup power generator large enough to power the plant’s operations. SERCAP has awarded Grayson County $40,000.00, through its Facilities Development Grant Program, to purchase and install the generator, in order to ensure that the residents of the Town will have an uninterrupted supply of water during unexpected power outages.
Without SERCAP’s Facilities Development Grant Program and other similar services, many communities,
low-income individuals, and families would be forced to go without such necessities as water and wastewater infrastructure solutions, community infrastructure needs, indoor plumbing, properly functioning wells and septic systems, safe and affordable housing, and more. It is important to remember that even in the United States in the 21st Century; there are those who do not have reliable access to clean, safe drinking water, environmentally sound septic facilities, and affordable housing. In order to help SERCAP continue to provide assistance to both the individuals and communities in need, please consider making a donation to SERCAP’s Water Life! Fund!
*Funding for SERCAP’s Regional Department is provided by the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) Office of Community Services’ (OCS) Grant, USDA RD’s Technitrain Program, the Drinking Water Compliance Grant through the EPA, and the EPA Private Well Grant. Funding for SERCAP’s Facilities Development Program is provided by a Budget Appropriation from the Virginia General Assembly, which is administered by the Virginia Department of Housing & Community Development. Additionally, all of SERCAP’s programs and services in Virginia are leveraged by the Budget Appropriation from the Virginia General Assembly, administered by DHCD.