Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Anne Hazlett has announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $237 million in 119 rural projects in 29 states.
“While many rural communities boast an array of natural resources and scenic and cultural amenities, they often lack the social and physical amenities necessary to build a foundation for rural prosperity,” Hazlett said. “Under the leadership of Secretary Perdue and through partnerships with small towns and cities, USDA is working to change that by investing in essential community facilities such as schools, public safety equipment, and modern medical facilities that attract new residents, retain existing ones and make rural communities competitive places to live, work and play.”
Hazlett announced the funding following a meeting at the Western Governors Association.
In Nevada, Community Facility program funds allowed the Community Chest in Fernley to purchase a building for their community support and counseling and education services. Esmeralda County was able to purchase a 14-passenger van to transport seniors to medical appointments, and CF funding helped the City of Wells to purchase an X-Ray Machine for its new medical center. CF funds also helped the Mineral County Sheriff's Office to purchase new cameras for their detention center, and helped the Wells Band Tribal Council to purchase office equipment for the Tribe's administration building.
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. There is no limit on the size of the loans. Loan amounts have ranged from $10,000 to $165 million.
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.
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 https://www.rd.usda.gov/nv .