water dropWhere: Idledale, Jefferson County, Colorado

Problem: Small rural water systems struggle to access funding.

Solution: Rural Community Assistance Corporation (RCAC) completes Median Housing Income survey to support loans and or grant applications to multiple funding agencies.

Idledale is an unincorporated town located in Jefferson County, Colorado. Idledale Water and Sanitation District (WSD) serves the town, which has 135 parcels, two are vacant homes, three are vacant lots, three are vacation homes and two are commercial.

Idledale WSD hopes to maximize funding opportunities for a large-scale project that focuses on five major areas of its water system, which will improve year-round water service and availability to all who depend on this vital resource. The proposed improvements include: construct a new water transmission main, develop a new groundwater well and associated pipeline to the treatment building, build state-mandated water treatment facilities, replace damaged fire hydrants and system isolation valves, and install individual service meters to all existing water customers.

To be eligible for optimal funding options, Idledale WSD needed to establish a Median Household Income (MHI) for the service area. Because of its proximity to higher-income communities the current census data estimate of $120,000 was determined to be unreliable for the proposed service area. U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development (USDA RD) requested that Rural Community Assistance Corporation (RCAC), perform the MHI, which confirmed that the community’s $50,000 MHI was indeed lower than the census data reported.

The survey results may be used to support loans and or grant applications to multiple funding agencies, for multiple types of projects benefiting residents within the survey area.