U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Missouri State Director Jeff Case today announced four Missouri communities are receiving a total of $279,200 for projects that will benefit nearly 9,000 rural Missourians.
“Access to modern facilities, infrastructure, and equipment is a key indicator of rural prosperity,” said Case. “USDA is pleased to partner with communities and community-based non-profit corporations ensuring rural Missouri communities have the same opportunities as their urban counterparts to thrive.”
USDA is making the investments through Rural Development’s Community Facilities Direct Loan Program. Case announced the following communities will receive funding:
- Hopkins Township Road Association will use an $88,000 loan and $60,000 grant to purchase a new motor grader for the Hopkins Township Road Association. This unit will replace an older motor grader that has become unreliable due to its age and the amount of use it has received. The equipment will be used for snow removal and maintenance on more than 50 miles of roadways throughout Hopkins Township.
- Shelby County Improvement Corporation will receive a $40,000 loan and $15,000 grant to purchase a new backhoe for the Shelby County Road and Bridge Department. This backhoe will replace current equipment that is near the end of its serviceable life. The county is responsible for maintaining 540 miles of rural roadway and 64 bridges that serve 6,373 people in rural Shelby County.
- La Plata Community Betterment will use a $15,300 loan and $18,700 grant to purchase a pickup truck for the city of La Plata's Street Department. This truck will replace an aging vehicle that is in need of repairs that will cost more than the truck's market value. Buying a new truck will allow the city to continue to provide timely repair, snow removal and foreign object removal on roads in this rural northeast Missouri community.
- Fairview Auxiliary will receive a $19,000 loan and $23,200 grant to purchase a new tractor and loader. This new equipment will be leased to the city of Fairview, enabling city personnel to better maintain the roads and sidewalks for the city's 383 residents.
Today’s announcement came as part of a larger statement Acting Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Joel Baxley in which he said 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. He also announced nationwide 40 rural communities that are receiving a total of $50 million for projects that will benefit 631,000 rural residents in 17 states.
“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.”
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 key 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.
Contact USDA Rural Development
Information on programs available through USDA Rural Development is available by visiting www.rd.usda.gov/mo or by calling (573) 876-0976.
USDA Rural Development has 24 offices across the state to serve the 2.2 million residents living in rural Missouri. Office locations include a State Office in Columbia, along with local offices in Butler, Charleston, Chillicothe, Clinton, Dexter, Eldon, Farmington, Higginsville, Houston, Kennett, Kirksville, Maryville, Mexico, Moberly, Neosho, New London, Poplar Bluff, Richmond, Rolla, Sedalia, Springfield, St. Joseph, Troy, and West Plains.