WILLARD, Mo., Nov. 19, 2021 – United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Under Secretary for Rural Development Xochitl Torres Small today announced that USDA is investing $222 million to build and improve critical community facilities in 44 states, Guam and Puerto Rico. This community infrastructure funding will benefit nearly 2.5 million people in rural communities. It also includes $132 million to support health care, food security, and emergency response services for more than 850,000 rural residents in 37 states.
More than 68 rural communities across Iowa will be receiving a total of $11.5 million in loan and grant funding to assist with improvements to 74 infrastructure and critical community facilities.
“The Biden-Harris Administration is delivering on its promise to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and rebuild our economy,” Torres Small said. “Rural Americans need emergency response, hospitals and medical facilities, and USDA’s loans and grants invest in critical infrastructure to make that possible. USDA Rural Development puts rural people at the forefront of investment and opportunity to help us all build back better, stronger, and more resilient.”
Nationwide, USDA is investing in 537 projects through the Community Facilities Direct Loan and Grant Program. The assistance will fund essential community services that will help keep rural America resilient in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. The projects will finance emergency response vehicles and equipment; build or improve hospitals and clinics; and combat food insecurity.
“The project investments announced today in Iowa are designed to carry the load for improved infrastructure, better services, and improved public accommodations for the disabled among us,” said Darin Leach, USDA Rural Development Acting State Director in Iowa. “The improvements will enhance critical infrastructure and safety services and promote the long-term health and vitality of our rural communities.”
Recipients of USDA investments in Iowa will receive $8,411,800 in loans and $3,124,082 in grant funding. View all 74 Iowa projects here. Examples include:
- The city of LeMars is receiving a $8,300,000 loan to help expand and renovate sections of the Floyd Valley Hospital (FVH). FVH currently operates a 25-bed critical access hospital in Le Mars. This project will allow the city to expand the existing clinic by 14,300 square-feet, expand the physical therapy space by 5,300 square-feet, upgrade the facility's geothermal system, and make other essential mechanical and electrical upgrades.
- The city of Red Oak is receiving a $50,000 grant to assist in making street infrastructure improvements in the community. The section of street being improved is in danger of collapse due to poor storm water drainage, putting pedestrians at risk of injury. This project will allow the city to make the necessary street improvements to more effectively handle storm water runoff in heavy rainfall events and to provide a safe walkway for pedestrians.
- The city of Kimballton is receiving a $99,000 grant to help renovate street infrastructure. An existing 420-foot section of South 2nd Street is currently in disrepair with curbing that does not accommodate individuals with disabilities. This project will help replace the damaged road and also update the curb ramps at the Odense Street intersection to be compliant with ADA regulations for individuals with disabilities.
- The Dow City-Arion Community Fire Department is receiving a $110,000 grant to help purchase a replacement ambulance. The ambulance will be used to provide medical assistance during emergency situations as well as to provide medical equipment and transport.
- The city of Oelwein is receiving a $123,700 grant to help purchase and install a heating and cooling system for the city’s law enforcement facility. The facility currently houses a 911 dispatch center, a 24-hour holding facility, and the patrol/administrative offices of local law enforcement. Recently, the department's heating/cooling system experienced catastrophic failure and the facility is without temperature control. Both the internal and external units are beyond repair. This project will allow the city to explore, purchase and install either a geothermal or air-sourced heat-pump heating/cooling system and ensure the continued safety of those using the facility.
More than 100 types of projects are eligible for Community Facilities 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. For more information, visit https://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/community-facilities/community-facilities-direct-loan-grant-program.
Today’s investments complement the recently announced funding availability under USDA’s Emergency Rural Health Care Grant Program, which also is being administered through the Community Facilities program. Through this program, USDA is making up to $500 million available through the American Rescue Plan to help rural health care facilities, tribes and communities expand access to COVID-19 vaccines, health care services and nutrition assistance.
Under the Emergency Rural Health Care Grant Program, Recovery Grant applications will be accepted on a continual basis until funds are expended. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov/erhc.
Contact USDA Rural Development
USDA Rural Development has 11 offices across the state to serve the 1.7 million Iowans living in rural communities and areas. Office locations include a State Office in Des Moines, along with Area Offices in Albia, Atlantic, Humboldt, Indianola, Iowa Falls, Le Mars, Mount Pleasant, Storm Lake, Tipton and Waverly.
To learn more about investment resources for rural areas in Iowa, call (515) 284-4663 or visit www.rd.usda.gov/ia. If you’d like to subscribe to USDA Rural Development updates, visit our GovDelivery subscriber page.
Under the Biden-Harris Administration, Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities, create jobs and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans 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, Tribal and high-poverty areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov.
USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. Under the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, ensuring access to healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate, smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender.