Elkmont, Ala., July 14, 2022 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Alabama State Director Nivory Gordon, Jr. today announced that USDA was investing more than $1.4 million to support first responders and infrastructure in rural Limestone County, Alabama. These investments will benefit 12,360 residents in the county.
“Across our state, rural municipal governments and volunteer fire departments are essential pillars of the community, providing essential services that are crucial to everyday life in small town Alabama,” said Gordon. “USDA is working to help small town governments and volunteer fire departments across Limestone County and across rural Alabama to provide services that those in more urban areas take for granted.”
The investments announced today were funded through USDA Rural Development’s Community Facilities Direct Loan and Grant Program. Through this program, USDA provides affordable funding to develop essential community facilities in rural areas. An essential community facility is defined as a facility that provides an essential service to the local community for the orderly development of the community in a primarily rural area, and does not include private, commercial or business undertakings.
The investments announced today include:
- The town of Elkmont, Ala. will receive a loan of $1,000,000 to construct a town hall. The facility will provide a safe and modern location to host the town's offices, for use by the public. The two story, 2,400 square feet facility will include offices for the town mayor, the police chief, the town clerk, and will also feature a conference room for the town's use. The town hall will be fully ADA compliant and will also feature a wind-resistant safe room for use in severe weather. This facility will greatly improve the town's ability to serve its 434 rural residents.
- Elkmont Volunteer Fire Department, based in Elkmont, Ala., will receive a loan of $92,200.00 to purchase a fire engine and other equipment to serve the rural community. The department's current vehicle is obsolete and has reduced capability to serve the area. The fire truck and the new equipment will allow the firefighters to be more effective, have a more reliable response vehicle, and will benefit the 9,777 rural residents who reside in the Elkmont Volunteer Fire Department's service area.
- Owens Volunteer Fire Department, based in Athens, Ala. will receive a loan of $350,000 to purchase a new fire truck and equipment to better serve the community of Owens Crossroads and surrounding areas. The department's current fire truck has reached the end of its useful life and requires extensive repairs to remain in service. This new fire truck will be more reliable and will increase the safety and effectiveness of the area's first responders. This investment will benefit the 2,149 rural residents in the department's service area.
To learn more about investment resources for rural areas in Alabama, contact your local USDA Rural Development area office.
Under the Biden-Harris Administration, Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities, create jobs and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans 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, tribal and high-poverty areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov. If you’d like to subscribe to USDA Rural Development updates, visit our GovDelivery subscriber page.
USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. In the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate-smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov.
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