Funding Supports Schools, Libraries, Municipal Centers, First Responder Vehicles and Equipment, Other Community Needs
WASHINGTON, Jan. 24, 2018 – Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue today announced that USDA invested in nearly 400 projects to provide essential services for more than seven 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. “These 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 improve the lives of nearly 7 million rural residents.
The projects are in 46 states, including Washington State. Below are some examples of projects USDA Rural Development helped finance in rural Washington in 2017:
- The City of South Bend in Pacific County received a $211,000 loan to purchase a new automated garbage truck to replace the city’s old, manual one, which was unsafe causing excessive injuries to the operators and inefficient requiring much longer than it should have to remove the resident’s garbage. The residents are now getting more efficient service with the new bins and the collection is only taking three days a week which allows city staff to work on other needed projects. The anticipated savings from the reduced injury claims will allow the city to invest more into the community.
- In Eastern Washington, the City of Grandview (Yakima County) received a $550,000 loan to purchase a new pumper fire truck and associated equipment. The new truck will replace an existing pumper truck that is becoming difficult to maintain and parts are hard to locate. The challenges with the existing pumper fire truck puts the city in a state of “lack of readiness/poor response” regarding firefighting suppression, safety and health for the Grandview community. Funding for the new pumper fire truck and enhancements provide support of the city’s 10,862 residents.
- Also in Eastern Washington, the Town of Almira (Lincoln County) received a $50,000 loan to purchase a backhoe to better serve the community with more reliable and adequate public services, benefiting the community’s 284 residents.
"Under President Trump’s and Secretary Perdue's leadership, these investments in community facilities will strengthen rural small towns and cities and help improve the quality of life in rural Washington," said Kirk Pearson, Washington State Director. "I am especially proud of the role that USDA Rural Development plays in addressing the critical needs for rural communities when it comes to our first responders and their mandate to keep us safe and secure."
To build stronger, thriving rural communities, President Donald J. Trump established the Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity in April 2017 to identify how federal regulations impact agriculture and rural communities. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue was selected to chair the group, which includes 22 federal agencies as well as local leaders.
Member of the task force travelled across the country, holding listening sessions and gathering recommendations from the people living and working in rural America. Earlier this month Secretary Perdue presented the task force’s findings to President Trump. They include more than 100 recommendations for the federal government to consider restoring rural prosperity.
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.