Representatives from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and U.S. Rep. Ann McLane Kuster Thursday visited the Bridge House Veterans Shelter to announce $3,061,900 in federal grants and loans to New Hampshire non-profit organizations and towns. Funds were provided through USDA Rural Development’s Community Facilities and Water and Environmental Grant and Loan programs to 11 rural community organizations.
The Bridge House operates a 20 bed homeless shelter and will use a $35,200 USDA Rural Development Community Facilities Grant to create a Veterans and Homeless Advocacy Center and thrift store in the Plymouth American Legion Hall. The center will provide mental health services, an on-site nurse and job training.
"These grants and loans provide rural communities with the infrastructure and support they need to thrive" said USDA Rural Development New Hampshire and Vermont State Director Ted Brady. "These federal dollars will be invested in our children at schools and libraries, in our returning warriors at veteran’s organizations, in our health and environment in water facilities, and in a myriad of other critical projects that help make New Hampshire a great place to live."
During the news conference Brady announced the 11 grant, loan and loan guarantee recipients:
· Belknap Mill Society: $15,600 Community Facilities Grant to make 87 windows more sound and energy efficient in Laconia’s Belknap Mill.
· The Bridge House: $35,200 Community Facilities Grant to renovate the Plymouth American Legion Hall to create a Veteran’s and Homeless Advocacy center and thrift store.
· Camp Starfish: $1,500,000 Community Facilities Loan Guarantee to purchase Camp Monomonac in Rindge to convert into Camp Starfish, a camp providing individualized attention-education to children ages 5-17.
· Effingham Library: $4,700 Community Facilities Grant to replace substandard shelving which will allow for expansion in the teen and children areas.
· Town of Errol: $1,400,000 in Water and Environmental Program grants and loans to improve the water system infrastructure by constructing a new bedrock wall, atmospheric storage tank and upgrade pump station controls and water meters.
· Gorham Public Works Garage: $17,600 Community Facilities Grant to install a new roof and blown-in insulation allowing snow to slide off roof, stop leakage into the building and increase energy efficiency.
· Town of Groton: $25,000 Community Facilities Grant to purchase a new plow truck with sander to plow roads and assist with road repairs.
· Haverhill Cooperative School District: $3,300 Community Facilities Grant to improve the energy efficiency of the Woodsville Elementary and High School’s walk-in refrigerator and freezers.
· Somersworth Police Department: $7,300 Community Facilities Grant to purchase a 24 channel system that will record all of the needed communication lines for 911 telephone and radio traffic.
· Town of Stratford: $15,000 Community Facilities Grant to purchase a new backup Emergency Operations Center generator for the town hall.
· Warren School District: $38,200 Community Facilities Grant to purchase learning center computer equipment, science lab equipment and lockers.
USDA Rural Development’s Community Facilities Grant and Loan Program provides grants and low-interest loans to assist in the development of essential community facilities in rural areas and towns to construct, enlarge, or improve community facilities for health care, public safety, and community and public services. This can include the purchase of equipment required for a facility's operation.
USDA Rural Development’s Water and Wastewater Disposal Loan and Grant Program (WEP) provides loans and grants for the development, extension, repair or improvement of water and wastewater systems, including solid waste disposal and storm drainage in rural communities with a population of 10,000 people or less.
President Obama's historic investments in rural America have made our rural communities stronger. Under his leadership, these investments in housing, community facilities, businesses and infrastructure have empowered rural America to continue leading the way – strengthening America's economy, small towns and rural communities.
USDA, through its RD mission area, administers and manages housing, business and community infrastructure programs through a national network of state and local offices. Rural Development has an active portfolio of more than $201.3 billion in loans and loan guarantees. These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural areas. For more information on Rural Development visit the Vermont/New Hampshire Rural Development Website (www.rurdev.usda.gov/nh-vtHome.html) or contact USDA RD at (802) 828-6000.