$2 Billion in Funding Available for Essential Community Facility Projects
Acting Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Joel Baxley today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has more than $2 billion still available this year to invest in community facilities and infrastructure projects in rural areas. Baxley also released the names of 40 rural communities that are receiving a total of $50 million for projects that will benefit 631,000 rural residents in 17 states. In Maine, the Cumberland County Soil and Water Conservation District has been selected to receive a Community Facilities Direct Loan in the amount of $425,000.
Modern and accessible education, health care, public safety and municipal services are foundational to quality of life in any community,” Baxley said. “Under the leadership of President Trump and Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, USDA is committed to being a strong partner to rural communities to build the facilities in which these essential services are located, and to improve the infrastructure these services rely on to operate in rural America.”
USDA Rural Development State Director Timothy P. Hobbs said, “This investment in the Cumberland County Soil and Water Conservation District represents our commitment to support our valuable community partners and help preserve Maine’s important natural resources.”
The Cumberland County Soil and Water Conservation District will use a Community Facilities Direct Loan in the amount of $425,000 to purchase and upgrade the property it is currently leasing at 35 Main Street, in Windham. The building will continue to be used as administrative offices that give them the space they need to meet their needs and serve Maine communities. The organization accomplishes its mission through public outreach; education; and directly working with individuals, watershed groups, municipalities, and many others to provide expert planning and execution of practices that protect natural resources.
USDA is making the investments and has additional funding available through the Community Facilities Direct Loan Program. Interested applicants should contact their USDA Rural Development state office.
The 40 projects Baxley announced today are in Alabama, Arkansas, California, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, Nebraska, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Virginia.
More than 100 types of projects are eligible for funding under USDA’s Community Facilities program. Eligible applicants include municipalities, public bodies, nonprofit organizations and federally recognized Native American tribes. Projects must be in rural areas with a population of 20,000 or less. For more information on this program please contact Robert J. Nadeau, Community Programs Director at (207) 990-9121 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
USDA will make additional funding announcements in coming weeks. Congress appropriated $2.8 billion for Community Facilities direct loans and grants in fiscal year 2019.
In April 2017, President Donald J. Trump established the Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity to identify legislative, regulatory and policy changes that could promote agriculture and prosperity in rural communities. In January 2018, Secretary Perdue presented the Task Force’s findings to President Trump. These findings included 31 recommendations to align the federal government with state, local and tribal governments to take advantage of opportunities that exist in rural America. Increasing investments in rural infrastructure is a cornerstone recommendation of the task force.
To view the report in its entirety, please view the Report to the President of the United States from the Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity (PDF, 5.4 MB). In addition, to view the categories of the recommendations, please view the Rural Prosperity infographic (PDF, 190 KB).
USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov.
USDA Rural Development has Area Offices located in Presque Isle, Bangor, Lewiston, and Scarborough, as well as a State Office, located in Bangor. Rural Development staff work diligently to deliver the agency’s Housing, Business, and Community Programs, which are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, and farmers, and improve the quality of life in rural Maine. Further information on rural programs is available at a local USDA Rural Development office or by visiting USDA Rural Development's web site at http://www.rd.usda.gov/me.