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USDA Invests $4 Million in Rural Community Infrastructure to Help People in 14 Rural Nebraska Communities

Meredith Mingledorff
Release Date
Nov 23, 2021

Projects Include $430,000 for Rural Health Care and Emergency Response Services

LINCOLN, Nebr., Nov. 23, 2021 – United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Acting State Director for Nebraska Kim Martini today announced that USDA is investing $4 million to build and improve critical community facilities in 14 rural Nebraska communities. This community infrastructure funding will benefit nearly 38,000 people in rural communities. It also includes $430,000 to support health care and emergency response services for nearly than 7,500 rural residents.

“Today’s investments are a yet another testament to the commitment USDA Rural Development has to the needs of rural communities,” Martini said. “With additional geographic, physical and social barriers, investments in emergency response, medical facilities and hospitals are critical to the continued resiliency of rural America and USDA’s financing makes it more affordable.”

USDA is investing in 14 projects in Nebraska through the Community Facilities Direct Loan and Grant Program. The assistance will fund essential community services that will help keep rural America resilient in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. The projects will finance emergency response vehicles and equipment; build or improve hospitals and clinics; and combat food insecurity.

For example:

  • Spencer Community Economic Development will use a $31,700 grant to purchase and install an electronic digital sign and concrete gathering space off main street. The new sign and concrete gathering space will replace a grass lot with plastic signage. This project will benefit 455 residents.
  • Lynch Rural Fire District will use a $47,400 grant to purchase two fire and rescue utility vehicles with specially designed work beds and equipment to better respond to fire emergencies. This project will benefit 639 residents.
  • Superior Historic Re-Development Inc. will use a $150,000 loan and a $50,000 grant to install a heating ventilation and air conditioning system in the Superior Auditorium to provide local residents with a venue that can be used year-round. This project will benefit 1,957 residents.
  • The village of Chambers will use a $20,000 grant to purchase and install an electronic digital sign on main street to help provide important messages to the community, specifically the elderly community and others without internet access. This project will benefit 268 residents.
  • The Farnam Rural Fire District will use a $50,000 grant to help purchase a Jaws of Life machine, a patient monitor and related equipment, new bunker gear and an air pack. This project will benefit 375 residents.
  • The city of Peru will use a $520,000 loan to make essential street repairs for roads effected by flooding in 2019. This project will benefit 1,083 residents.
  • The Peru Housing Authority will use a $40,800 grant to purchase an electric cot, a monitor, and a defibrillator for the city’s ambulance. This project will benefit 865 residents.
  • Beaver City will use a $37,600 grant to purchase three backup generators to be placed in the community center/storm shelter, city hall/fire department, and ambulance facility. This project will benefit 609 residents.
  • Rock County will use a $32,700 grant to purchase and install technology upgrades for local law enforcement vehicles, including license readers, printers, tablets, body cameras, docking stations, and a CRIMES record management system. This project will benefit 1,526 residents.
  • Warren Memorial Hospital Foundation, Inc. will use a $140,600 grant to implement an updated nurse calling system for the 19-bed critical access and primary care hospital located in Friend, Nebraska. This project will benefit 3,192 residents.
  • The Nebraska Communities Playhouse will use a $2.5 million loan to build a nearly 16,000 square foot theater in Hickman, Nebraska. The playhouse will be dedicated to a youth theater academy. The new facility will improve accessibility for individuals with disabilities, increased seating capacity, a larger stage, storage area, patio, lounge, office and box office, concession area, and mechanical room. This project will benefit 12,232 community members.
  • The city of South Sioux will use a $249,000 grant to purchase equipment for maintaining South Sioux City’s streets. This project will benefit 13,353 residents.
  • The Sunshine Senior Center will use a $80,700 grant to make important renovations including a new roof, windows, flooring, kitchen cabinet and cupboards, parking lot, and bathroom. The parking lot, bathroom, and kitchen renovations will include accessibility improvements for individuals with disabilities, and the new windows will provide energy efficient improvements. This project will benefit 251 residents.
  • The city of Pawnee will use a $46,500 grant to purchase a high-pressure sewer cleaner to improve cleanliness and maintenance of the city’s sewer mains to prevent build-up and blockage. This project will benefit 878 residents.

These investments are in coordination with USDA Under Secretary for Rural Development Xochitl Torres Small’s recent announcement that the Department is investing in 536 community infrastructure projects in the following states: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Wyoming, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands and Puerto Rico.


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.

Today’s investments complement the recently announced funding availability under USDA’s Emergency Rural Health Care Grant Program, which also is being administered through the Community Facilities program. Through this program, USDA is making up to $500 million available through the American Rescue Plan to help rural health care facilities, tribes and communities expand access to COVID-19 vaccines, health care services and nutrition assistance.

Under the Emergency Rural Health Care Grant Program, Recovery Grant applications will be accepted on a continual basis until funds are expended. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov/erhc.

Interested parties should contact their local USDA 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.

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/ne. If you’d like to subscribe to USDA Rural Development updates, visit our GovDelivery subscriber page.