Harrisburg, Pennsylvania – USDA Rural Housing Service Administrator Bruce W. Lammers today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing almost $12 million in 41 community facilities projects that will benefit 214,000 Americans in rural communities in 17 states.
“Under the leadership of President Trump and Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, USDA is committed to partnering with rural communities to bring essential facilities and services to rural communities,” Lammers said. “Investments in our rural areas provide a foundation for growth and prosperity that strengthens the Nation’s overall economy.”
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. Also see the Community Facilities Direct Loan Program Guidance Book for Applicants, a detailed overview of the application process.
“Our Community Facilities Programs help rural communities remain economically competitive by providing the essential facilities that will retain current residents, promote job growth and retention, and attract new families,” said State Director Curt Coccodrilli. “We know that when rural America thrives, all America thrives.”
Today, Pennsylvania announced two projects:
- The County of Forest will use a loan of $15,000 and grant of $20,000 to purchase a new vehicle to be used for day-to-day operations for the Forest County sheriff's office. It will be used for transports, court duties, civil processes, warrants, to fight the opioid epidemic and for contracted patrols. The current fleet is aging and becoming outdated.
- Northwest EMS received a $160,400 loan and $28,300 grant to refurbish an ambulance and purchase emergency services equipment. The applicant currently has a 2003 four-wheel drive ambulance and they intend to refurbish the chassis and patient box. The repairs are needed because the ambulance has high mileage and needs a lot of repairs. The equipment is needed because the current equipment is outdated. The refurbished ambulance will benefit the residents of Elizabethtown Borough.
More than 100 types of projects are eligible for Community Facilities program funding. 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).