Acting State Director Janelle Gustafson today announced that USDA has invested more than $12.3 million in rural Montana communities through the Community Facilities Program in fiscal year 2015. Of that investment, $11.1 million was awarded to rural health care facilities.
"Providing access to affordable, modern health care for rural Montanans is essential and we are proud to say Rural Development has played a part as USDA celebrates National Rural Health Week," Gustafson said. "Since 2009, Rural Development has invested more than $80 million in health care in Montana.”
The Ruby Valley Hospital District received a $9.95 million loan to construct a new Critical Access Hospital in Sheridan, Montana. The new hospital will be approximately 28,000 sq. ft., have nine beds and provide 50 jobs.
A $1.15 million loan was awarded to the Community Hospital of Anaconda, in Anaconda, Montana, for their new 9,648 sq. ft. clinic facility. The new clinic provides space for 10 physicians and a nurse practitioner. The loan provided by Rocky Mountain Bank was guaranteed by Rural Development.
Through the Community Facility Direct Loan & Grant and Guaranteed Loan Programs investments can be made not only in health care but also in schools, community centers, food pantries, and public safety. These are just a few areas where assistance can be provided.
An example is Noxon Public Schools, in Noxon, Montana. They received two grants totaling $58,400 to improve the security at their school. Noxon has one school, Kindergarten through 12th, serving about 200 students. The grants will provide for modern entry doors with a security entry system around the school to improve student and staff safety.
In Eureka, Montana, the Eureka Volunteer Fire Department purchased 120 sections of fire hose and two house ventilating fans, because of a $16,425 grant. The hoses and fans replace equipment that was approaching 30 years old. Having this reliable equipment will enable the department to fight fires without delays caused by faulty equipment.
Since 2009, USDA nationally has awarded $9.7 billion under its Community Facilities programs, including $4.9 billion for 1,052 health care projects; $266 million for improvements to 206 public schools; $133 million for 555 libraries; $39 million for 240 day care centers; and $791 million to support 4,876 public safety facilities in rural areas.
President Obama's plan for rural America has brought about historic investment and resulted in stronger rural communities. Under the President's leadership, these investments in housing, community facilities, businesses and infrastructure have empowered rural America to continue leading the way - strengthening America's economy, small towns and rural communities.