U.S. Department of Agriculture Ohio Rural Development State Director David L. Hall today announced three Ohio communities will receive $8.875 million in funding to build or improve community facilities and essential services that touch the lives of nearly 237,000 rural Ohioans.
“USDA understands that modern, functional community facilities such as healthcare clinics, law enforcement complexes, and buildings that house first responder services are necessary to maintaining and improving the quality of life in rural areas,” said Hall. “With today’s announcement, many of our neighbors in Coshocton, Darke, Guernsey, Licking, Morgan, Muskingum, Noble, and Perry counties will benefit from access to new or improved community facilities and services. Projects such as these are at the very heart of Rural Development’s mission, and I’m proud of our field-based team’s efforts to help ensure Ohio’s rural communities thrive.”
- The Village of Arcanum in Darke County will use its $2.5 million loan to construct an 8,400-square-foot-building which will house the village police department and its administrative offices. The current building does not meet accessibility, safety or health standards. It also lacks a vehicle emission ventilation system and has been inundated with bats. The new facility will be fully compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, and will provide Arcanum's full- and part-time law enforcement officers and support personnel with adequate, safe and efficient space to serve the village's 2,129 residents.
- Based in Coshocton, Allwell Behavioral Health Services will use its $2.275 million loan to construct an 11,500-square-foot building which will house comprehensive mental health and addiction treatment services for residents from Coshocton, Guernsey, Morgan, Muskingum, Noble and Perry counties. Its current location treats nearly 1,400 clients annually, and the new facility will help expand available services to the region’s 229,000 residents.
- Licking County’s Granville Township will use its $4.1 million loan to construct a 20,825-square-foot building to house the township's fire department, barracks and administration offices. The firehouse is undersized, and the current location prohibits the unfettered movement of emergency vehicles and equipment. Additionally, the barracks are too small to support the growing department, which provides first responder services to the Village of Granville and to nearby Denison University. Situated in a house next to the barracks, the department's current administrative offices are insufficient to meet the township’s needs, and are not compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. The new location will allow for quicker response times to the 5,646 residents served by the fire department.
In total, USDA is funding 17 projects through its Community Facilities Direct Loan Program. This funding helps rural small towns, cities and communities make infrastructure improvements and provide essential facilities such as public schools, libraries, courthouses, public safety facilities, hospitals, colleges and daycare centers. In addition to Ohio, other projects are located in Alabama, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, North Carolina, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin. Eligible applicants include municipalities, public bodies, nonprofit organizations and federally-recognized Native American tribes. Applicants and projects must be in rural areas with a population of 20,000 or less.
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 key 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.