U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Donald “DJ” LaVoy today announced that USDA is investing $139 million in 56 projects to improve community facilities and provide essential services for 3.3 million rural residents in 23 states.
“Modern, accessible and reliable community infrastructure, public safety facilities, schools and health facilities are essential components to strong and prosperous communities,” LaVoy said. “Under the leadership of President Trump and Agriculture Secretary Perdue, USDA is committed to being a strong partner in building and modernizing these facilities in rural America, because we believe that when rural America thrives, all of America thrives.”
USDA is making the investments through the Community Facilities Direct Loan Program. Interested parties should contact their USDA Rural Development state office for information about additional funding, application procedures and eligibility details. Also see the Community Facilities Direct Loan Program Guidance Book for Applicants, a detailed overview of the application process.
Here are a few examples of local investments:
- Ninnescah Valley Health Systems Inc. in Kingman, Kan., is receiving a $4.9 million loan to renovate a 50-year-old critical access hospital and a medical arts building. A specialty clinic will be expanded, and the oncology department, admissions area and business office will be upgraded.
- The Foundation for Education Inc., in Denver, N.C., is receiving a $39 million loan to expand and renovate the Lincoln Charter School. The school has been using mobile units to accommodate the increasing student population. USDA’s investment will provide an additional 29,450 square feet of permanent structures for middle and high school facilities and 53,335 square feet for elementary students. Additional upgrades include accessibility, safety and traffic flow improvements as well as renovations to the gymnasium.
- The Borough of Jim Thorpe, Pa., is receiving a $2.2 million loan to convert Memorial Hall into a combined police station, administrative office and community center. The current facility has a single entrance through which all public, employee, police and criminal traffic flows. The new facility will have separate entrances that will greatly increase safety for visitors and employees.
More than 100 types of projects are eligible for Community Facilities program 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.
The investments announced today are in Alabama, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Virginia. USDA had $2.8 billion available for Community Facilities direct loans and grants in fiscal year 2019. USDA will make additional funding announcements in coming weeks.
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 facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov.
In April 2017, 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 2018, 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 cornerstone 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).