$17.4 Million Announced Nationally for Essential Community Services
Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Anne Hazlett today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $17.4 million in 41 projects that will provide essential services for rural communities in 22 states. In Maine, Anson Madison Starks Emergency Services has been selected to receive a total of $157,000 through Community Facilities programs.
“Under Secretary Perdue’s leadership, USDA has shown a sustained commitment to rural communities,” Hazlett said. “These investments in community facilities will provide the foundation to create jobs, provide essential services, and keep the heart of rural America beating strong.”
USDA Rural Development State Director Timothy P. Hobbs said, “This investment in Anson Madison Starks Emergency Services will provide life-saving equipment to deliver vital emergency services to rural Maine people when they need it most.”
Anson Madison Starks Emergency Services has been selected to receive a total of $157,000 to purchase a new ambulance. This rural First Responder provides essential ambulance services to residents in the rural communities of Anson, Madison, Starks and Embden. The existing emergency-response ambulance needs to be replaced due to mileage/age and dependability issues for this life saving equipment. The facility is in a rural area with a population of 2,511.
The funding comes through the Community Facilities Direct Loan and Grant. USDA Rural Development helps rural areas purchase, construct or improve essential facilities. An essential community facility is one that provides a necessary service for the orderly development or operation of a rural community, such as schools, libraries, health care facilities, day care centers and infrastructure improvements.
More than 100 types of projects are eligible for USDA Community Facilities funding. Eligible applicants include municipalities, public bodies, nonprofit organizations and federally and state-recognized Native American tribes. Applicants and projects must be in rural areas with a population of 20,000 or less. Loan amounts have ranged from $10,000 to $165 million.
Projects that are being announced today will help improve the quality of life for more than 220,000 rural residents in Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia and Washington
The FY 2018 Omnibus spending bill increased the Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 budget for the Community Facilities Direct Loan and Grant program to $2.8 billion, up $200 million from FY 2017.
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.
USDA Rural Development has Area Offices located in Presque Isle, Bangor, Lewiston, and Scarborough, as well as a State Office, located in Bangor. Rural Development staff work diligently 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.