Rural Development State Director Frank Frassetto 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.
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. Nearly $9 million was awarded to two projects in Wisconsin.
“When rural communities commit their resources to invest in essential services necessary to thrive, USDA Rural Development is a willing partner to help leverage these finite resources,” Frassetto said. “USDA will continue working to improve the quality of life and foster rural prosperity by advancing schools, hospitals and public safety facilities throughout rural Wisconsin.”
The Mount Horeb Area Joint Fire Department in Mt. Horeb, WI, received an $8.9 million loan to construct a new 50,000 square-foot Public Safety Building to house the fire department, emergency medical services (EMS) and the police department. The design of the new station will result in significant savings to all occupants allowing them to be collocated under one roof, share common areas and offer better essential services to eight surrounding municipalities.
The Wilton Area Fire District in Wilton, WI, received $125,000 in loan and grant funds to replace its 32 year old pumper tank. The old truck was an open cab pumper tanker that was not mechanically sound, environmentally friendly or cost effective to repair. The new vehicle will also serve other purposes and aid the constituents of four surrounding communities in Monroe County.
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, which included 31 recommendations to align the federal government with state, local and tribal governments to take advantage of opportunities that exist in rural America. 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. In addition, to view the categories of the recommendations, please view the Rural Prosperity infographic.
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/wi.