ST. PAUL, Minn., Nov. 5, 2020 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development State Director for Minnesota Brad Finstad today announced that USDA is investing $73.4 million to improve critical community facilities to benefit 183,000 rural residents in more than 20 Minnesota counties.
“Modern, safe community infrastructure helps rural residents and businesses achieve greater prosperity through access to essential services,” Finstad said. “Under the leadership of President Trump and Agriculture Secretary Perdue, USDA continues to be a strong partner to rural communities, because we know that when rural America thrives, all of America thrives.”
USDA is funding 32 projects through the Community Facilities Direct Loan and Grant Program. These investments will be for such purposes as to build or upgrade schools, libraries, clinics and public safety facilities. For example:
- In Onamia, the Mille Lacs Health System will use a $29.6 million loan to refurbish and expand the current facility. The original facility was built in 1954, with additions constructed in 1994 and 2005. The two-story facility will be designed to foster outpatient wellness, prevention-based primary care, increased access, and chronic disease management. Additionally, it will provide more efficient workflows that will lower costs and increase patient quality outcomes. Registration and scheduling, public areas, waiting areas and lab have all been located to serve multiple departments without duplication of space or the need for additional staff. The hospital will remain open to serve the communities during construction. Renovation of the site for additional parking and a new helipad will be completed prior to the start of the construction.
- The city of Lake Lillian will use a $865,000 loan to repair and replace paved city streets, curbs and gutters. The city is currently improving underground drinking water, sanitary sewer, and storm sewer infrastructure, which results in damage to city streets that are already in poor condition. This project will help with essential street improvements and increase the overall quality of life for residents and businesses.
- In Deer Creek, the city will use a $50,000 grant to help purchase a new fire truck for the fire department. The new pumper truck will replace the city’s existing 1984 model. It will have the capacity to carry 1,250 gallons and pump 1,000 gallons per minute, ensuring continued fire emergency services to Deer Creek and three surrounding townships.
- Island Living, Inc. is receiving a $3.2 million loan to develop a senior assisted living and memory care facility in Bird Island. The new 12,000 square-feet facility will include 15 apartments and suites. The facility will provide all services on-site. The city is also contributing two existing independent living town homes to the organization.
Today’s investment is in coordination with USDA Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Bette Brand’s recent announcement that the USDA is investing $871 million to improve critical community facilities to benefit 3.5 million rural residents in 43 states and Guam: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Indiana, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin 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, 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/mn.
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