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USDA Invests $3.8 Million to Improve Community Infrastructure for People Living in Rural Towns Across Minnesota

Name
Nikki Gillespie
City
ST. PAUL
Release Date
Jan 27, 2022

Funding Will Increase Access to Health Care, Education and Public Safety for the People Who Call Rural Communities Home 

ST. PAUL, Minn., Jan. 27, 2022 – United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Acting State Director for Minnesota Cynthia Morales today announced that USDA is investing $3.8 million to build and improve critical community facilities in several rural communities across Minnesota. 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 areas.

“Access to modern infrastructure like hospitals, clinics, schools, libraries and public safety services is crucial to the continued prosperity of rural communities,” Morales said. “The projects being announced today reflect how crucial investing in community facilities is, especially for remote, rural areas. USDA looks forward to its continued commitment to the partnerships that help rural America build new opportunities and prosperity.”

Morales highlighted 12 projects that USDA is making in two 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 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.

For example:

  • The Little Laker’s Child Care Center will use a $617,000 loan and a $108,000 grant through the Community Facilities Direct Loan and Grant program to purchase land and a building and house the newly formed non-profit childcare provider in Lake Crystal, Minn. The facility was remodeled by the previous owner and will be able to accommodate up to 83 children at full capacity.
     
  • The Violence Intervention Project (VIP) will use a $50,000 Community Facilities Disaster Grant to purchase a mini-van, playground equipment, and a safety privacy fence. The vehicle will help to transport clients to and from critical medical, employment and housing appointments. The VIP provides domestic and sexual violence advocacy, child advocacy, parenting time and supervised visitation, education and outreach.
     
  • Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa will use a $54,600 Economic Impact Initiative Grant to purchase two law enforcement patrol vehicles and related equipment to replace existing vehicles with high mileage requiring regular, costly maintenance and impacting reliability. The new vehicles will help to ensure continued efficient public safety services on the Reservation and neighboring communities.

Background:

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/wi.

Interested parties should contact their local Minnesota Rural Development 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.

Today’s investments are in coordination with USDA Deputy Secretary Dr. Jewel Bronaugh’s nationwide announcement that USDA is investing $1 billion to build and improve critical community facilities in 48 states, Puerto Rico and Guam.

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.

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