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Paradise Receives USDA Investment to Boost Recovery Efforts

Sarah Marquart
Paradise, Calif.
Release Date

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development State Director for California Kim Dolbow Vann announced today a $148,300 grant to the Town of Paradise to support the community’s recovery efforts from the 2018 Camp Fire.

“Wildfire may have devastated the landscape of Paradise, but it didn’t break its spirit,” said Vann. “As we mark the anniversary of the Camp Fire, I am proud to celebrate the strength and resiliency of this community and its residents. As Paradise continues their recovery, USDA remains committed to help.”

The Town of Paradise was gifted a building which, after renovations, will become their new Building Resiliency Center (BRC). This center will serve as a permanent home for information and resources available to residents trying to recover and rebuild from the Camp Fire. USDA Rural Development funds will support renovations with new office equipment and a generator.

“It has been exactly one year since California’s most destructive wildfire ever, the Camp Fire, was ignited in Butte County and quickly engulfed the towns of Paradise, Magalia, Concow, Yankee Hill and the surrounding area,” said Congressman Doug LaMalfa (R-Richvale). “The destruction is well-documented. Most tragically of all, 85 people lost their lives because of it. A year later, we’re still working on solutions to the after effects. This USDA grant will help expedite the recovery process for many victims of the Camp Fire, and I thank Rural Development for their continued help for the recovery needs of Northern California.”

Today’s funding is provided through USDA Rural Development’s Community Facilities Grant Program. It is part of a $150 million set-aside included in the Additional Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Act that President Trump signed into law on June 6, 2019.

“We are grateful for the partnership we have with USDA Rural Development,” said Paradise Town Manager Lauren Gill. “The BRC will be the cornerstone of our recovery from the Camp Fire and serve as the one-stop facility for residents wishing to rebuild in the Town and the Ridge at large. This grant from USDA Rural Development is critical to expedite its opening.”

Disaster grants remain available to assist communities in 29 California counties and three Indian reservations recover from the devastating effects of fires, hurricanes and other natural disasters.

More than 100 types of projects are eligible for Community Facilities funding. Projects must be in eligible rural areas with a population of 20,000 or fewer. Interested applicants should contact their local Rural Development office.

In addition to today’s announcement, USDA Rural Development has invested a total of $3.6 million to support recovery efforts in Paradise and surrounding communities in Butte County.

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/ca and follow us on Twitter at @CaliforniaRD.