Projects are located in Hancock, Penobscot, Washington, Somerset, Aroostook, and Lincoln Counties
USDA Rural Development State Director Virginia Manuel has announced investments in six Maine communities totaling $11.1 million. These funds will improve the quality of life for the residents though enhanced infrastructure and essential community facilities.
USDA Rural Development State Director Virginia Manuel said, “These meaningful community projects will benefit thousands of rural Maine residents in significant ways, including improved access to wastewater infrastructure, healthcare and mental health programs, and the expansion of a rural education facility. I am pleased that USDA Rural Development could provide over $11 million to invest in projects that will have a major impact on the lives of the residents in these rural Maine communities.”
In Maine, six projects have been selected to receive funding:
Winter Harbor Utility District has been selected to receive a total of $4,600,000 (Water and Waste Farm Bill Section 6025 Loan in the amount of $2,300,000 and Grant in the amount of $2,300,000). Rural Development funds will used to upgrade the District’s wastewater treatment facility and collection system. The wastewater treatment facility has been in operation for 40+ years and currently serves 244 residential and 27 commercial/governmental customers. The upgrades are required due to the age and condition of the existing facility and to ensure the District will meet clean water standards. The District’s wastewater system plays an important role in preserving the waters of Henry Cove and the Atlantic Ocean.
Penquis Mental Health Association has been selected to receive a Community Facility Direct Loan in the amount of $170,000. Rural Development funds will be used to purchase an existing residential facility that will provide essential development and intellectual disability services. This project will provide a facility for the applicant’s Adult Residential Supported Living program. The program provides those with special needs with a stable living environment that allows individuals to focus on personal growth and other dimensions such as friendships, employment, long-term recovery, and full community inclusion.
City of Eastport has been selected to receive a total of $4,000,000 (Water and Waste Farm Bill Section 6025 Loan in the amount of $2,000,000 and Grant in the amount of $2,000,000.) Rural Development funds will be used to upgrade the City’s wastewater treatment facility and collection system. The wastewater treatment facility currently serves 493 residential and 53 commercial/ governmental customers. The upgrades are required due to the age and condition of the existing facility and to ensure the City will meet clean water standards. The City’s wastewater system plays an important role in preserving the waters of the Atlantic Ocean.
Kennebec Montessori School, Inc. has been selected to receive a Community Facilities Direct Loan in the amount of $700,000. Rural Development funds will be used to construct a 2,400 sq. ft. addition to the existing school located in Fairfield. This project is needed to provide the space needed to accommodate expanded upper elementary classes.
Fish River Rural Health has been selected to receive a Community Facility Direct Loan in the amount of $1,350,000. Rural Development Community Facility Loan funding will be used to construct a medical facility in Fort Kent. The US Department of Health and Human Services has designated the area as a Medically Underserved Area for primary care, mental health, and dental health. Fish River Rural Health is a Federally Qualified Health Center with clinic locations in Eagle Lake and Fort Kent. The demand for Fish River Rural Health medical services in their Fort Kent facility have outgrown the existing infrastructure and there is a need to invest in additional physical space to meet the demand for services in this rural underserved region.
Waldoboro Utility District has been selected to receive a total of $300,000. (Water and Waste Direct Loan of $200,000 and Grant in the amount of $100,000). Rural Development funds will be used for upgrades to the District’s sewer distribution system. This includes reconstructing upwards of 80 manholes next to the wastewater treatment facility.
USDA Rural Development has Area Offices located in Presque Isle, Bangor, Lewiston, and Scarborough, as well as a State Office, located in Bangor. There are 54 employees working to deliver the agency’s Housing, Business, and Community Programs, which are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, and farmers, and improve the quality of life in rural Maine. Further information on rural programs is available at a local USDA Rural Development office or by visiting USDA Rural Development's web site at http://www.rd.usda.gov/me.