Wisconsin Rural Development State Director Frank Frassetto announced today that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $237 million in 120 rural infrastructure projects in 29 states through the Community Facilities Direct Loan Program.
“When rural communities commit their resources to invest in essential services necessary to prosper and thrive, USDA Rural Development is a willing partner to help leverage their finite resources,” Frassetto said. “USDA will continue to seek out partnerships throughout rural Wisconsin to improve the quality of life and foster rural prosperity by advancing schools, hospitals and public safety facilities.”
Nationally, these projects will provide essential services such as health care, education and infrastructure improvements. Several will help provide opioid treatment, prevention and recovery services. In Wisconsin, Trempealeau County Health Care Center (TCHCC) is receiving $2.6 million to renovate the existing facility to create two 15-bed, community-based residential facilities. TCHCC provides outpatient psychological assessment, psychotherapy and alcohol and other drug treatment services.
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. More than 100 types of projects are eligible for Community Facilities funding. Eligible applicants include municipalities, public bodies, nonprofit organizations and federally and state-recognized Native American tribes. Applicants and projects must be located 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.
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/wi.