Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Anne Hazlett today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $237 million in 119 rural community service facilities in 29 states. In Kentucky, these projects will be used to purchases emergency vehicles to protect the citizens of rural counties.
“Our rural towns in Kentucky are home to some of the best people in the country, and I am committed to ensuring the USDA utilizes our resources to help those communities when needed,” said Hilda Legg, USDA Rural Development Kentucky State Director. “Strong partnerships with our local leaders will allow us to collaborate and develop innovative strategies to provide protection for our people and infrastructure.”
In Mason County, the investment will be used to purchase a pumper/tanker for the volunteer fire department to replace an outdated tanker and to ensure the rural population of approximately 242 has adequate protection in the event of fire or other emergency needs.
The City of Bardwell investment will be used to purchase a 2018 Dodge 1500 SSV Crew Cab 4x4 truck for the city's Police Department to provide efficient and effective police response in the event of an emergency. The rural population of approximately 723 in Bardwell will have a police department capable of providing protection in all areas under the harshest weather conditions with the new 4x4 vehicle.
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. There is no limit on the size of the loans. Loan amounts have ranged from $10,000 to $165 million.
The 2018 Omnibus bill increased the Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 budget for the Community Facilities Direct Loan 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.