St. Paul, Minn., August 31, 2022 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development State Director Colleen Landkamer announced that the Department is investing $231,000 in critical infrastructure to combat climate change across rural Minnesota through the Community Facilities Disaster Grant program.
“Rural Minnesota is on the front lines of climate change, and our communities deserve investments that will strengthen all of our resilience,” Landkamer, said. "Today, we are investing over $231,000 that will provide essential services that will address the effects that climate change has made toward, infrastructure, and social service needs.”
The investments announced today will help rural communities in Minnesota renovate or purchase and install equipment for essential community facilities. Some examples include:
- The city of Sandstone, Minnesota received a $50,000 to help relocate the city library to a facility on main street. Sandstone library is a part of the East Central Regional Library (ECRL) system that serves the counties of Aitkin, Chisago, Isanti, Kanabec, Mille Lacs, and Pine. The relocation will enable the Sandstone Library to better engage in the needs of the surrounding communities by implementing more relevant programs, resources, and technology.
- The city of Sacred Heart will use a $50,000 grant to aid rehabilitate a historical local landmark, the Hotel Scared Heart. Renovations will help to increase property values, attract new businesses and shoppers to the area, and bring new job opportunities to the community of Sacred Heart.
- The Browns Valley Ambulance Service will use a $94,000 grant to replace two vehicles that are more than 20 years old and will be outfitted with modern emergency medical equipment. The Browns Valley Ambulance Service provides emergency rescue services for nearly 2,000 residents in the surrounding rural area.
- The Altura Ambulance Service will use a $37,000 grant to purchase a new vehicle that will provide emergency and rescue services for more than 2,000 residents in the cities of Altura, Elba, Rollingstone and portions of seven other rural townships.
USDA is making funding available through the Community Facilities Disaster Grant program. These investments reflect the goals of President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act, which addresses immediate economic needs and includes the largest ever federal investment in clean energy for the future. For example, the Act includes $14 billion in funding for USDA programs that support the expansion of biofuels and help rural businesses and electric cooperatives transition to renewable energy and zero-emission systems
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/mn. If you’d like to subscribe to USDA Rural Development updates, visit our GovDelivery subscriber page.