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USDA Announces Investments in Community Facilities that will Benefit Nearly 2,500 Rural Americans

Nikki Gillespie
Release Date

Rural Development State Director for Nebraska Karl Elmshaeuser today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $84,000 in essential community infrastructure that will benefit nearly 2,500 rural residents.

   “Modern infrastructure, whether it’s for education, health care, public safety, or municipal services, is essential to the continued prosperity of rural communities,” Elmshaeuser said. “Under the leadership of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and Acting Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Joel Baxley, USDA is committed to partnering with rural communities to build and improve infrastructure for essential services.”

  The Pennsylvania Colony Historical Society of Nebraska is receiving a $36,400 loan and $47,600 grant to construct a new 40 x 52 sq. ft. building on the existing four-acre plot of land in Richardson County. The new building will be used to display additional artifacts that have been donated since completion of the first facility. The new building will also allow space to host cultural and social events.

   Elmshaeuser’s announcement is in coordination with the recent announcement made by Acting Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Joel Baxley 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.

   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. Below is a list of examples of projects in other states:

  • In Kansas, the city of Frankfort is receiving a $265,700 loan to build a truck route for commercial traffic. The new route will redirect traffic around the city. Work will also include improving curbs, gutters, sidewalks and the stormwater drainage system along two city blocks.

  • The Wilderness Ranch Homeowners Association in Boise, Idaho, is getting a $1.4 million loan to replace the Rush Creek and Water Treatment Plant bridges over Mores Creek. The bridges are unsafe and weight-restricted, making access to the water treatment plant and subdivision very difficult. The new bridges will ensure safe and unrestricted access over Mores Creek for the Wilderness Ranch Homeowners Association’s 678 residents.   

  • Fayette County in Ohio will use a $20 million loan to construct a 54,443-square-foot law enforcement complex to house administrative offices, a 911 call center and a detention center. The existing facilities were constructed in the early 1900s and no longer meet the requirements of modern law enforcement operations. The expanded detention center will help alleviate overcrowding and allow for better separation of male and female internees. Additionally, the new administrative offices and 911 call center will improve operational efficiency first responder times.

   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/ne.