USDA Rural Development State Director Virginia Manuel has announced an investment of $815,700 for projects that will provide important benefits in Maine’s rural communities.
USDA Rural Development State Director Virginia Manuel said, “This funding will invest in vital community infrastructure, helping the Aroostook Band of Micmacs build a community center that will serve many functions key to the health and well-being of their community, and the Southern Aroostook Agricultural Museum continue to provide education about farming and the land. In addition, funds will help the communities of Dexter, Limestone, and Danforth to be sustainable through planning for future water system needs.”
Projects being announced today are:
- Aroostook Band of Micmacs has been selected to receive $545,000 through a Community Facilities Direct Loan to construct a community building. The facility will be a multi-purpose building that will be used for various educational, youth, elder, health and wellness, and cultural programs such as Youth programs, a Boys and Girls program, Head Start, Elders program and other health, community and cultural activities.
- Dexter Utility District has been selected to receive a total of $225,000 through a Water and Waste Direct Loan of $130,000 and Water and Waste Grant of $95,000 for upgrades to the water distribution system. This will be done by replacing old antiquated and undersized water mains. The replacement of these mains will improve flow and reliability of the system.
- Limestone Water and Sewer District has been selected to receive $24,000 through a Special Evaluation Assistance for Rural Communities and Households (SEARCH) Grant to analyze a water storage and distribution system to determine needed upgrades for the future. This analysis will provide information and options that will enable the District to meet the community’s water needs in the future. The District currently serves approximately 275 households and 32 business and public facilities.
- Danforth Water District has been selected to receive $10,000 through a SEARCH Grant to analyze the water storage and distribution system to determine needed upgrades. This analysis will provide information and options that will enable the District to meet the community’s water needs in the future. The District currently serves approximately 115 households and 14 businesses and public facilities.
- Southern Aroostook Agricultural Museum has been selected to receive $11,200 through a Community Facility Grant to construct an addition to the museum’s display facility. Southern Aroostook Agricultural Museum was established as a non-profit organization in 2002 in Littleton, Maine to preserve artifacts of the agricultural way of life in Aroostook County. The museum collects and displays to the public, farm equipment, tools and other such items. The museum provides education about the role farming played in southern Aroostook County, how farming was conducted, the creativity involved in the management and operation of farms and what life was like on early farms. The museum’s storage/display facility is now overcrowded with so many artifacts that the viewing and display of such items is hindered. Rural Development funding will be used to construct an addition to the museum’s storage/ display 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 58 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.