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.”
“Our first responders risk their lives every day,” said USDA Rural Development State Director for Michigan Brandon Fewins. “These grants will help ensure not just the safety of our first responders, but all who pass through our communities. They are an example of the many ways we can help improve the quality of life for Michigan residents.”
Michigan has four recipients:
- The City of Owosso, in Shiawassee County, will use $117,000 in grants to purchase an ambulance and two police vehicles. These will replace older vehicles that are no longer mechanically reliable.
- The City of Imlay City, in Lapeer County, will use a $27,900 grant to purchase a new police vehicle. This will replace an older vehicle that is no longer mechanically reliable.
- The Mid Michigan Community Fire Board, in Gratiot County, will use a $31,000 grant to purchase nine self-contained breathing apparatus units. These air packs will replace units that are 25 years old and are below fire safety standards.
- The City of River Rouge, in Wayne County, will use a $33,100 grant to purchase a law enforcement vehicle. The vehicle will replace an older fleet one that is more than 10 years old, has high mileage and is in need of major repairs.
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. Bronaugh underscored the critical role that Senator Richard Shelby of Alabama, Vice Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations, had in fighting for additional funding for the Community Facilities Direct Loans, which made many of these investments in critical rural infrastructure possible.
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 their USDA Rural Development state office 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.
USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. In the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, ensuring access to healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate, smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov.