U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Donald “DJ” LaVoy today announced that USDA is investing $394 million to improve critical community facilities in 28 states and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. USDA is making the investments through the Community Facilities Direct Loan Program.
“Modern facilities for essential services such as schools, first responders, hospitals and health clinics are the bedrock to healthy 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 facilities and creating jobs and educational opportunities, because when rural America thrives, all of America thrives.”
West Virginia projects announced today include:
The Hospital Development Company (dba Roane General Hospital) in Spencer, W.Va., will use a $20.3 million loan to modernize an emergency department and create an urgent care walk-in clinic. A medical office building will be built nearby to house primary care and specialty clinics.
The city of Smithers, W.Va. will use a $125,000 loan to renovate the interior of a former public-school building that will serve as the new City Hall.The building offers more space, ample parking and will promote easier access by the public to various city departments.
Speaking of the projects, USDA Rural Development West Virginia State Director Kris Warner said, “These organizations are doing important work to provide essential services and support economic prosperity in rural Fayette and Roane Counties. The impact of these projects will be recognized throughout the region.” Warner went on to add, “I commend the City of Smithers and Roane General Hospital for their hard work and dedication to promoting healthy and vibrant communities.”
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 will benefit 1.6 million people in Alabama, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, North Dakota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Vermont and West Virginia.
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.
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).