U.S. Dept. of Agriculture Rural Development State Director for Michigan Jason Allen today announced that the agency invested more than $4 million in rural Michigan in Fiscal Year 2017.
“From medical equipment to key infrastructure, USDA is helping to improve access to health care for rural Michigan residents,” Allen said. “The distribution of projects – Manistique and Three Rivers – demonstrates how hard we are working to reach rural communities.”
USDA invested more than $1 billion in rural health care nationally in Fiscal Year 2017 through the Community Facilities Direct Loan Program. The loans can be used to fund essential community services. For health care, this includes to construct, expand or improve health care facilities such as hospitals, medical clinics, dental clinics and assisted-living facilities, as well as to purchase equipment. Public bodies, non-profit organizations and federally recognized tribes in rural areas and towns with up to 20,000 people are eligible for these loans.
Additional funding is also available through the Business Guaranteed Loan program.
Michigan had two projects in FY 2017:
- Three Rivers Health System in St. Joseph County received a $4,260,000 guaranteed loan to refinance existing debt and strengthen its finances. The loan will also help pay for a new phone system.
- Hiawatha Behavioral Health Authority in Schoolcraft County received $54,400 in grants for parking lot and roof repairs. The funds also helped purchase an all-weather service vehicle to reach remote patients.
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; homeownership; 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.