USDA Announces Investments in Community Facilities that will Benefit Almost 44,000 Rural Alabamians
MONTGOMERY, Ala., Aug. 21, 2019 – USDA Rural Development State Director Chris Beeker today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $1,443,300 in eight Community Facilities projects in Rural Alabama.
“Under the leadership of President Trump and Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, USDA is committed to partnering with rural communities to build the facilities that provide state-of-the-art services to those who depend on them,” Beeker said. “Rural areas thrive when modern and accessible education, health care, public safety and municipal services are available. When Rural America prospers, all America prospers.”
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.
The 8 projects that USDA announced today are in Alabama are:
The Town of Loxley will use a $111,400 loan and a $46,000 grant to purchase four new vehicles, three equipped as police vehicles and one administrative vehicle for the town of Loxley. The vehicles are in operation 24 hours a day, a factor that limits their useful life to approximately five years. The current fleet is beyond its useful life.
The city of Union Springs will use a $227,700 loan and a $50,000 grant to purchase a new pumper fire truck. The fire department currently has an inoperable 30-year-old truck and a 20-year-old one. The new pumper truck will replace the 30-year-old truck. This will allow for safer, more dependable fire protection for the community.
The city of Jemison will use a $351,400 loan and a $50,000 grant to purchase a 6,000 square foot public safety building that will become a second fire station and office space for the police department. The current fire station is located on the west side of the city. The city is divided by a CSX Railroad that causes response delays for the east side of the city. The new fire station will allow the city to provide better services to the east side. This will improve Jemison's ISO Public Protection Classification Rating, which could lower insurance premiums for the homeowners.
The town of Valley Head will use a $130,000 loan to purchase a fire truck and equipment. The town is currently protecting its residents with a very old fire truck that is in constant need of repair. This new fire truck and equipment will decrease response times and increase effectiveness of the public safety division.
Paint Rock Volunteer Fire Department, Inc. will use a $39,700 loan and a $35,300 grant to purchase a newer fire truck and equipment. The fire department has two fire trucks. One is a 1980 vehicle with major front-end issues and is only used as a last resort due to safety concerns. The fire department is down to four air tanks that are being refilled. The new truck and air tanks are necessary to ensure the safety of the fire fighters as they protect the citizens in the service area.
The town of Fort Deposit will use a $70,000 loan and a $50,000 grant to purchase three new police vehicles and equipment. The current police vehicles and equipment are more than 13 years old and well beyond their useful life. New body cams, ballistic vests, computers and vehicles will ensure the safety of the officers while they are protecting the residents.
East Providence Volunteer Fire Department will use a $121,000 loan and a $20,000 grant to purchase a 40'x 60' prefabricated metal building to add to the fire station. The existing fire station is undersized and cannot house the fire trucks and equipment. The new building will have higher eave height with two roll up bay doors providing space for two fire trucks. There will also be a community room, kitchenette, accessible bathrooms and a small office. The existing structure will be used for smaller search and rescue vehicles, equipment storage and turnout space.
The Lowndes County Commission will use a $98,900 loan and a $42,000 grant to obtain video security equipment and jail management records software. The county’s detention facility currently uses a 20-year-old analog video surveillance system. The new digital video security system will improve safety for officers as well as for inmates. The software-based records management system will eliminate paper files and will allow personnel to locate inmate information more quickly.
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.
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).