Department Invests $237 Million in Health Care, Municipal Centers, Schools, and Opioid Treatment, Prevention and Recovery Facilities
BOX ELDER, S.D., June 27, 2018 – Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Anne Hazlett today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $237 million in 119 rural community service facilities in 29 states, including three projects in Washington State.
“At USDA, we believe in rural America and in the promise of small towns and the people who call them home,” Hazlett said. “Under Secretary Perdue’s leadership, we are committed to being a strong partner to local leaders in building healthy, prosperous futures for their communities.”
Hazlett announced the funding following a meeting here of the Western Governors Association. USDA is supporting these quality-of-life projects through the Community Facilities Direct Loan Program. For example, in Washington State:
- The Town of Almira in Lincoln County will receive a loan and grant combination of $49,000 to finance a utility vehicle, tractor and equipment to better serve the community with more reliable equipment to improve community services.
- The City of Soap Lake in Grant County will receive a loan and grant combination of $43,500 to finance a new police vehicle needed to provide city residents with better public safety resources.
- The City of Tonasket in Okanogan will also receive a loan and grant combination of $42,000 to improve public safety through the finance of two police vehicles.
More than 100 types of projects are eligible for USDA Community Facilities funding. Eligible applicants include municipalities, public bodies, nonprofit organizations and federally and state-recognized Native American tribes. Applicants and projects must be in rural areas with a population of 20,000 or less. There is no limit on the size of the loans. Loan amounts have ranged from $10,000 to $165 million.
The 2018 Omnibus bill increased the Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 budget for the Community Facilities Direct Loan program to $2.8 billion, up $200 million from FY 2017.
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 services such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov.