The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced Tuesday it has awarded 11 essential community anchor organizations with over $1 million in loan and grant funding. Vermont and New Hampshire USDA Rural Development State Director Ted Brady announced the loans and grants during a groundbreaking for one of the recipients, Mascoma Community Healthcare in Canaan.
“These loans and grants will help towns and non-profit organizations provide essential community services, including healthcare services, education, and public works,” said Brady. “The investments vary from funding an innovative, community driven, health center to helping a small school purchase a solar array for its greenhouse. The essential community facilities receiving funding this year will help make rural New Hampshire a safer, more sustainable and more vibrant place to live and work.”
On Tuesday, USDA announced that the following organizations will receive $1,106,800 in USDA Community Facilities Loan and Grant funding:
- Town of Belmont: $9,300 grant to install a new heating and HVAC system in four town buildings to increase town energy efficiency.
- Town of Franklin: $12,200 grant to purchase a wheelchair lift for the Franklin City Hall.
- Town of Gorham: $30,000 grant to improve the public works facility.
- Lakes Region Child Care Services (Laconia): $27,300 grant to install new flooring.
- Mascoma Community Healthcare (Canaan): $204,000 in loans to complete construction on the community health clinic.
- New Hampshire Public Broadcasting (Durham): $770,000 loan to replace two aging towers in Hanover and Littleton to enable better communication information and safety messages to the public.
- North Country Charter Academy (Littleton): $28,700 in grants to replace computer and software equipment for the Academy which provides a non-traditional educational setting aimed at student retention.
- The Stepping Stone Drop-In Center Association (Claremont): $4,400 grant to replace the roof for the mental health drop-in center.
- Turning Points Network (Claremont): $6,400 grant to perform building and equipment upgrades for the organization's two 24-hour crisis intervention and support centers.
- Warren School District (Warren): $7,000 grant to purchase a solar electric system and greenhouse operational equipment for the school's greenhouse and solar energy laboratory.
- Town of Whitefield: $7,500 grant to improve the community kitchen and bathrooms in the newly constructed town office.
Brady was in Canaan Tuesday to celebrate Mascoma Community Healthcare’s ground breaking. The 13,280 square foot clinic will provide medical, mental health, dental care, x-ray, pharmaceutical and physical therapy services to an initial 2,500 patients and create 11 jobs in the area by next year. When the health center is fully functioning, it plans to serve approximately 8,000 patients and employ an estimated 44 professionals. The center will put an emphasis on treating low to moderate income households and the underinsured in the Mascoma Valley. The health center is being funded through $3,487,000 in USDA loans, including a new $204,000 loan announced Tuesday, and $527,055 from a community fundraising effort.
Brady noted that New Hampshire’s Congressional Delegation supported a significant increase in federal dollars for the USDA Community Facilities Loan and Grant Program in the federal appropriations process last year, increasing the number of New Hampshire organizations able to access the program this year.
USDA, through its RD mission area, administers and manages housing, business and community infrastructure programs through a national network of state and local offices. Rural Development has an active portfolio of $213 billion in loans and loan guarantees. These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural areas. For more information on Rural Development visit the New Hampshire Rural Development website at www.rd.usda.gov/nh or contact USDA RD at (603) 223-6035.