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USDA Invests in Community Safety in Plains, MT

Shelby Johnsen
Release Date

Montana State Director Charles Robison announced today that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is providing a $30,000 loan and $50,000 grant to allow the Plains Police Department in Sanders County to purchase two new police cruisers.

   “Public safety plays a critical role in our rural towns,” said Robison. “By making this investment, not only is a rural community benefitting from the additional resources, but the officers on patrol are safer. That contributes to a better quality of life in Plains – and that has long-reaching benefits economically. We’re proud to be a partner in this.”

   USDA is making the investments through the Community Facilities Direct Loan Program. The funding helps rural areas purchase, construct or improve essential facilities. An essential community facility is one that provides a necessary service for the orderly development or operation of a rural community, such as schools, libraries, health care facilities, day care centers and infrastructure improvements.

   In addition to the Plains Police Department, other projects announced today will help improve the quality of life for more than 220,000 rural residents in 21 other states, totaling $17.4 million in essential services investment.

   More than 100 types of projects are eligible for USDA Community Facilities funding. Eligible applicants include municipalities, public bodies, nonprofit organizations and federally and state-recognized Native American tribes. Applicants and projects must be in rural areas with a population of 20,000 or less. Loan amounts have ranged from $10,000 to $165 million.

   The FY 2018 Omnibus spending bill increased the Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 budget for the Community Facilities Direct Loan and Grant program to $2.8 billion, up $200 million from FY 2017.

    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 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.