USDA Helped Improve Essential Services for 7 Million Rural Residents in 2017, Including over 187,000 Residents in South Carolina

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Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue today announced that USDA invested in nearly 400 projects to provide essential services for more than 7 million people in rural areas across the country in Fiscal Year 2017.

   “Partnering with our small towns and cities to support essential services that rural residents need is one way USDA is facilitating prosperity in rural America,” Perdue said. “USDA’s investments will help communities significantly improve their schools, hospitals and public safety facilities, and improve the quality of life.”

   USDA infused $1.5 billion into rural areas in 2017 through the Community Facilities Direct Loan Program for projects such as schools, libraries, municipal centers, first responder vehicles and equipment, social service buildings, recreational activities and other community needs. These investments are helping nearly 7 million rural residents. In South Carolina, over $76 million of Community Facilities funds helped to benefit over 187,000 rural residents in the state.

   Below are some examples of projects USDA helped finance in South Carolina:

  • OCAB Community Action Agency, Inc. in Orangeburg, SC, received a $707,955 loan to purchase new buses to safely transport students to and from school daily. Funds will also be used to purchase needed equipment, make minor repairs and refinance an existing loan.

  • Williamsburg County in Kingstree, SC, received a $727,650 of loan funds to purchase new digital format P25 capable radios for the Williamsburg County EMD, update the roof on the EMS facility and complete the Chavis Recreational facility. All radios in the state of South Carolina are required to be P25 capable. This is both a Public Health and Public Safety concern as the rural firefighters are often the first to respond to rural residents in a health emergency. This project will fund the purchase of 114 radios for the Williamsburg County Fire Department.

  • East Point Academy in West Columbia, SC, received a $24 million loan to purchase and renovate an existing school facility and expand the elementary school campus.  An existing building, on Leaphart Street, will be purchased and repurposed as the middle school campus for grades 6th through 8th.
  • Upper Palmetto YMCA in Fort Mill, SC, received a $29.7 million loan to refinance debt and construct a new facility at approximately 74,000 square feet (including land) for outdoor sports and a play area for childcare programs on an approximate 15.5 acre tract in unincorporated Indian Land, Lancaster County, South Carolina.

   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

Last Modified: 01/25/2018