Montana State Director for USDA Rural Development Charles Robison yesterday announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing almost $12 million in 41 community facilities projects across the country that will benefit 214,000 rural Americans, including funding for two new four-wheel-drive police trucks for the town of Hot Springs.
“The Trump Administration and Ag. Secretary Sonny Perdue are committed to bringing essential community facilities and services to rural communities,” Robison said. “The new trucks and equipment for Hot Springs PD will serve the entire Hot Springs community, providing reliable response when people need it the most. These are purpose-built trucks designed for police work. We know that in rural Montana, our law enforcement officers aren’t always on the paved road. This is just one more way that USDA supports rural Montana. When rural Montana prospers, all Montana prospers.”
USDA awarded the town of Hot Springs a $14,500 loan and $56,200 grant to purchase two new Ford F-150 Police Responder pickups and necessary equipment. The new trucks will allow officers to respond to emergencies more quickly and safely.
“The acquisition of the two new four-wheel-drive trucks will allow Hot Springs Police Department to provide an increased ability to respond to calls for service and safely negotiate our often difficult to maneuver roadways in our rural jurisdiction,” said Eric Pfleger, Hot Springs Police Chief. “Our aging fleet has increasingly been an operational and financial difficulty the last few years and these vehicles will be an asset to our agency. We are thankful for the USDA efforts in partnering with us to solve our vehicle requirements and better serve the community law enforcement needs.”
USDA is making the investments and has additional funding available through the Community Facilities Direct Loan Program. Interested parties should contact the USDA Rural Development State Office in Bozeman for application and eligibility details. Also see the Community Facilities Direct Loan Program Guidance Book for Applicants, a detailed overview of the application process.
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.
USDA will make additional funding announcements in coming weeks. Congress appropriated $2.8 billion for Community Facilities direct loans and grants in fiscal year 2019.
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/mt.
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).