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USDA Invests $1 Billion to Improve Community Infrastructure for People Living in Rural Towns Across the Country

Jamie Welch Jaro
Release Date

BOISE, Idaho, Jan. 28, 2022  – United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Deputy Secretary Dr. Jewel Bronaugh announced that USDA is investing $1 billion to build and improve critical community facilities in 48 states, Puerto Rico and Guam. This infrastructure funding will increase access to health care, education and public safety while spurring community development and building sound infrastructure for people living in rural communities.

“The Biden-Harris Administration has made investing in infrastructure improvements a top priority,” Bronaugh said. “These loans and grants will help rural communities invest in facilities and services that are vital to all communities, such as health care facilities, schools, libraries, and first responder vehicles and equipment. When we invest in essential services in rural America, we build opportunity and prosperity for the people who call rural communities home.”

Bronaugh highlighted 731 projects that USDA is making in five programs that will fund essential community services to help rural America build back better, stronger and more equitably than ever before. These programs include Community Facilities Direct Loans and Grants, Community Facilities Loan Guarantees, Community Facilities Technical Assistance Training Grants, Community Facilities Disaster Grants, and Economic Impact Initiative Grants. The projects will finance emergency response vehicles and equipment; build or improve hospitals and clinics and help fund other essential community facilities. The awards being announced were in many states including Idaho.

 Idaho Grants:

 The City of Glenns Ferry will use a $30,200 USDA Grant to purchase a Mini Excavator for the Public Works Department that will allow Glenns Ferry to complete infrastructure projects safely throughout the community. This equipment will benefit more than 1,319 rural individuals.

 The City of Plummer will utilize $28,800 of grant funding in partnership with a Dept of Commerce ICDBG grant of $150,000 and a $10,000 grant from the local Area on Aging Agency, to remodel a current city owned building into a new Senior Center.  The Senior Center project includes the addition of a commercial kitchen, construction of a dining and activity area, addition of office space, addition of windows and doors, electrical upgrades, HVAC upgrades, plumbing upgrades and bathroom improvements to meet accessibility for disabled individuals.  The population of Plummer is 983 and the existing senior center currently serves approximately 35 to 40 seniors.

 The Wendell Senior Center used a $4,900 USDA Grant to repair, expand, and re-pave the existing parking lot.  Besides the normal senior center activities, the Center is also used by the community to host special events.  The new and improved parking lot will serve all seniors that use the facility, senior citizens in the adjacent communities, and special events participants.

 “Idaho Rural Development is excited to be a part of helping make these infrastructure upgrades possible,” State Director Rudy Soto said. “These projects will help seniors, peoples with disabilities, and benefit thousands of rural Idahoans.”

 Background on Grant Program:

More than 100 types of projects are eligible for Community Facilities funding. Eligible applicants include municipalities, public bodies, nonprofit organizations and federally recognized Native American tribes. Projects must be in rural areas with a population of 20,000 or less. For more information, visit https://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/community-facilities/community-facilities-direct-loan-grant-program.

 Interested parties should contact USDA Rural Development Idaho for information about additional funding, application procedures, and eligibility. Also see the Community Facilities Direct Loan Program Guidance Book for Applicants (PDF, 669 KB) for a detailed overview of the application process.

 Under the Biden-Harris Administration, Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities, create jobs and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural, Tribal and high-poverty areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov. If you’d like to subscribe to USDA Rural Development updates, visit our GovDelivery subscriber page.