NASHVILLE, Tenn., July 15, 2020 - The Trump Administration today announced that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $153 million to build and improve critical community facilities to benefit nearly two million rural residents in 23 states. Rural Development State Director Jim Tracy is pleased to announce that Tennessee will invest nearly $24.9 million in loans and grants to eight projects across the state.
“USDA is committed to be a strong partner in building and modernizing facilities, creating jobs and educational opportunities,” Tracy said. “Rural Tennessee needs safe, modern infrastructure to help residents and businesses achieve greater prosperity and have access to essential services.”
USDA is investing in 94 projects through the Community Facilities Direct Loan and Grant Program. The investments can be used to build or upgrade a wide-range of rural community facilities such as schools, libraries, clinics and public safety facilities. In Tennessee:
- Obion County, Tenn., is receiving a $500,000 loan and $150,000 grant to construct an airplane hangar with adjacent staging area at the airport. Through leasing, the hangar will generate the airport revenue.
- Crockett County, Tenn., is receiving an $18.3 million loan to expand and renovate Crockett County Middle and High School. The renovations will expand classrooms and build a new gym, multi-purpose sports complex, stadium press box, bleachers and new school board offices.
- Bledsoe County Government is receiving a $290,000 loan and $150,000 grant to purchase public works equipment. The equipment is necessary for the Bledsoe County Highway Department to effectively operate its department. The function of the Highway Department is to maintain county roadways and rights of way, install tiles and build headwalls, remove ice and snow from roadways, maintain county vehicles for the department, make mechanical repairs to department vehicles, install and maintain traffic control devices, and maintain stripes to county roads.
- Town of Somerville is receiving a $4 million loan to construct a fire station and renovate the existing police station for the town of Somerville. The existing fire station shares a building with the police department. The existing 2,937 square-foot building is not large enough for modern fire equipment and numerous apparatuses. Three new bays (4,510 sf) will provide adequate enclosed and consolidated space for modern firefighting vehicles, equipment and will assist with response time. The new building will also allow the relocation of the fire department staff and increase the number of trained staff.
- Town of Centerville is receiving a $369,000 loan and $100,000 grant to demolish and replace the existing fire hall in the town of Centerville. The current building is used to house two fire trucks, while a large portion of the deteriorating building is unusable. Two other fire trucks are being housed in a county facility that is miles away and increases response time to citizens in the town. The existing building is unable to be adequately heated and cooled, which causes damage to the fire equipment. The new facility will be a 6,890 square foot metal building that will consist of a 2,094 square foot area with an office, kitchen, dayroom and a 2,094 square foot training room. The construction of the new fire station is needed to reduce response time for citizens within the city limits. It will have a useful life of 30 to 40 years.
- City of South Pittsburg is receiving an $125,000 loan and $125,000 grant to purchase three pieces of machinery: a backhoe, excavator and compact tract loader. The equipment is needed to maintain two major creek branches that spill water from the South Pittsburg Mountain. Their current inventory is not sufficient to maintain the creeks and provide for recovery after heavy rains and flooding.
- Overton County, Tenn., is receiving a $203,000 loan and $105,000 grant to purchase two ambulances to replace the two highest mileage units in service. This will allow Overton County to provide more efficient and timely responses to all emergency calls, as well as reduce maintenance costs on the ambulance fleet. These vehicles are used to provide emergency response to the entire county, as well as portions of Clay and Pickett counties. This large service area and increasing number of long-distance runs are due to area hospital closures and having a fleet of vehicles that are not in danger of breaking down is crucial.
- City of Dayton is receiving a $493,000 loan and $87,000 grant to purchase a 100-foot ladder truck with pump to better match the challenges presented by current and future growth within the city. The new ladder truck will meet the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 1901 standard for the year of manufacture. In preparation for the periodic Insurance Services Office (ISO) risk analysis evaluation, it was noted that with the addition of the Nokian Tyre manufacturing facility, the department's current ladder truck is inadequate. ISO requires that the department have a ladder as tall as the tallest building within the jurisdiction or 100 feet, whichever is less. Nokian Tyres' new mixing building is in excess of 100 feet to the roof, now making the current 75-foot ladder insufficient.
The investments that Brand announced today are being made in Alabama, Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, North Dakota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Wyoming.
More than 100 types of projects are eligible for Community Facilities funding. 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.
Interested parties should contact their USDA Rural Development state office for information about additional funding, application procedures and eligibility details. Also see the Community Facilities Direct Loan Program Guidance Book for Applicants (PDF, 669 KB), a detailed overview of the application process.
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/tn.
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