State Director for Rural Development Edd Hargett today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $4 million in rural infrastructure projects in Texas.
“USDA is pleased to offer funding to Moore County Hospital District,” said Hargett. “Investments like these ensure that rural facilities are able to provide the residents the ability to obtain first hand medical care within their community.”
USDA is making the investments through the Community Facilities Direct Loan Program. The recently passed 2018 Omnibus bill increased the Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 budget for the program to $2.8 billion, up $200 million from FY 2017.
More than 100 types of projects are eligible for funding, such as schools, health care facilities, libraries and infrastructure improvements. Eligible applicants include municipalities, public bodies, nonprofit organizations and federally and state-recognized Native American tribes in rural areas with a population of 20,000 or less. There is no limit on the size of the loans. Loan amounts have ranged from $10,000 to $165 million.
In Texas, Moore County Hospital District is receiving a $4 million loan to renovate the hospital and add approximately 55,000 square feet in a two-story structure located next to the hospital. The addition will include an emergency department, surgery rooms, obstetrics, a new patient registration department, and 25 medical/surgical beds. It will house virtually all of the hospital's inpatient and outpatient services. The Hospital District serves nearly 20,000 people. This investment is in addition to a $30 million loan previously awarded in 2016.
In April, Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Anne Hazlett said USDA will prioritize investments to address the opioid crisis in rural communities. In the Community Facilities Grant Program rural communities, nonprofit organizations and federally recognized tribes can apply through the usual Community Facilities grant application process for grants up to $150,000 for innovative projects such as mobile treatment clinics. Community Facilities grants may fund up to 75 percent of an eligible project.
Last year, President Donald J. Trump established the Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity to identify legislative, regulatory and policy changes that could promote agriculture and prosperity in rural communities. In January, Secretary Perdue presented the Task Force’s findings to President Trump. These findings included 31 recommendations to align the federal government with state, local and tribal governments to take advantage of opportunities that exist in rural America. Increasing investments in rural infrastructure is a key recommendation of the task force.
To view the report in its entirety, please view the Report to the President of the United States from the Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity (PDF, 5.4 MB). In addition, to view the categories of the recommendations, please view the Rural Prosperity infographic (PDF, 190 KB).
USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community services such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov.