USDA Has More Than $2 Billion Still Available for Rural Communities to Build or Modernize Education, Health Care, Municipal and Public Safety Facilities
MONTGOMERY, Alabama June 24, 2019 – Acting Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Joel Baxley today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has more than $2 billion still available this year to invest in community facilities and infrastructure projects in rural areas. Baxley also released the names of 40 rural communities that are receiving a total of $50 million for projects that will benefit 631,000 rural residents in 17 states. Alabama State Director Chris Beeker III said Alabama is receiving $526,000 for three projects.
“Modern and accessible education, health care, public safety and municipal services are foundational to quality of life in any community,” Baxley said. “Under the leadership of President Trump and Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, USDA is committed to being a strong partner to rural communities to build the facilities in which these essential services are located, and to improve the infrastructure these services rely on to operate in rural America.”
USDA is making the investments and has additional funding available through the Community Facilities Direct Loan Program. Interested applicants should contact their USDA Rural Development state office.
The 40 projects Baxley announced today are in Alabama, Arkansas, California, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, Nebraska, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Virginia. Projects in Alabama include:
The Mid-Lauderdale Volunteer Fire Department in Florence, Alabama is receiving a $150,000 loan to purchase new extrication equipment, air pack and tanks. The current equipment is reaching the end of its useful life. The extrication equipment will cut valuable, lifesaving minutes from the rescue efforts resulting in quicker transport to medical facilities. The air packs and tanks will improve the safety of the fire fighters as they protect the residents.
The Mid-Lauderdale Volunteer Fire Department in Florence, Alabama is receiving a $300,000 loan to purchase a new fire truck and equipment. The fire department has nine fire trucks to service over 20,000 residential customers in Lauderdale County. The new truck will replace an older truck with excessive required repairs.
Calhoun County Fair, Inc. is receiving a $76,000 loan to purchase land for the Calhoun County fair. Calhoun County currently rents the property. The land will provide parking for county fair events.
More than 100 types of projects are eligible for funding under USDA’s Community Facilities program. 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.
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 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.