USDA Rural Housing Service Administrator Bruce W. Lammers has announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing almost $12 million in 41 community facilities projects that will benefit 214,000 Americans in rural communities in 17 states: Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia and Washington. In Maine, Eastern Slope Airport Authority has been selected to receive a Community Facilities Direct Loan in the amount of $452,200, and Grant in the amount of $67,800.
“Under the leadership of President Trump and Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, USDA is committed to partnering with rural communities to bring essential facilities and services to rural communities,” Lammers said. “Investments in our rural areas provide a foundation for growth and prosperity that strengthens the Nation’s overall economy.”
USDA Rural Development State Director Timothy P. Hobbs said, “I am pleased that USDA Rural Development could work with partners to assist the Eastern Slope Airport Authority with the construction of their new hangar. Working together with our partners we can help ensure prosperous and thriving rural Maine communities.”
Eastern Slope Airport Authority will use the Community Facilities Direct Loan in the amount of $452,200, and Grant in the amount of $67,800 to construct a new transient aircraft hangar. Construction of the heated hangar will facilitate higher utilization of the airport during winter months to improve access to Eastern Slope Airport located in Fryeburg.
Other funding partners include the Northern Boarders Regional Commission: $500,000, Maine Department of Transportation: $75,000, Economic Development Administration: $1,200,000, and New Hampshire Department of Transportation: $75,000.
USDA is making the investments and has additional funding available through the Community Facilities Direct Loan Program. Interested parties should contact their USDA Rural Development state office for application and eligibility details. Also see the Community Facilities Direct Loan Program Guidance Book for Applicants, a detailed overview of the application process.
More than 100 types of projects are eligible for Community Facilities program 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.
USDA will make additional funding announcements in coming weeks. Congress appropriated $2.8 billion for Community Facilities direct loans and grants in fiscal year 2019.
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.
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 cornerstone 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 has Area Offices located in Presque Isle, Bangor, Lewiston, and Scarborough, as well as a State Office, located in Bangor. Rural Development staff work diligently to deliver the agency’s Housing, Business, and Community Programs, which are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, and farmers, and improve the quality of life in rural Maine. Further information on rural programs is available at a local USDA Rural Development office or by visiting USDA Rural Development's web site at http://www.rd.usda.gov/me.