USDA Rural Development Provides $548,300 in Grants to Support Disaster Recovery Across Rural Iowa

Matthew T. Doyle
Des Moines
Release Date
Apr 01, 2021

DES MOINES, IOWA, April 1, 2021The Biden Administration, along with U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Acting State Director for Iowa Darin Leach, today announced that the USDA is investing $548,300 to assist 14 Iowa communities in supporting disaster recovery. These funding awards were made through USDA Rural Development’s Community Facilities Grant program.

“Investing in critical community facilities is a key component of improving the quality of life in rural Iowa, which is why these projects are so impactful,” said Darin Leach, USDA Rural Development Acting State Director in Iowa. “Helping rebuild and restore these communities is an important emphasis at USDA Rural Development.”

The projects received grants ranging from $2,600 to $82,000. USDA Rural Development has additional grant funding available and is accepting applications until all funds are exhausted. Grant assistance will be provided on a graduated scale; smaller communities with the lowest median household income are eligible for a higher proportion of grant funds. Application information is available at or by calling (515) 284-4663.

“With a historic amount of disaster grant funding available through the Community Facilities Program, we look forward to partnering with natural disaster-impacted rural Iowa communities on their road to long-term recovery,” Leach added.

Iowa projects receiving awards today include:

  • The City of Lohrville will use a $40,400 grant to purchase emergency responder equipment including air packs, cylinders, masks, and related equipment. The city's current equipment is old and out of compliance and risks the safety and efficiency of the emergency responders.

  • The City of Volga is receiving a $82,000 grant to purchase a fire tanker truck and turn out gear for the volunteer fire department. The fire department's existing vehicle was purchased in 1980 and has a manual transmission and low-capacity water tank. This project will allow the city to purchase a new tanker vehicle with a more efficient automatic transmission and high-capacity water tank to accommodate the city's 208 residents.

  • The City of Leon will use a $44,000 grant for the purchase of a police vehicle. The replacement vehicle will improve reliability of police response as the current vehicle has high mileage. Additionally, they are receiving a $39,000 grant to purchase a public works vehicle.  The vehicle will also include a snow plow attachment and dump bed so that the community's streets, parks, trails, cemetery, and facilities can be properly maintained. These grants will increase the overall safety of the community and its residents.

  • The City of Randolph will use a $11,000 grant to purchase a mower and maintenance equipment. The city's existing mower and maintenance equipment are beyond their useful life. This project will allow the city to purchase new equipment and continue essential regular maintenance of city property for the 168 local residents.

  • The City of Persia is receiving $50,000 grant to purchase a maintenance truck for the city of Persia. The city's existing vehicle is beyond useful life and requires regular, costly repairs. This project will allow the city to purchase a new vehicle and continue to provide essential maintenance services for Persia's 319 residents.

  • The City of Wyoming will use a $2,600 grant to install a new HVAC system for the daycare building. The existing system does not work properly, requiring regular costly maintenance and creates an uncomfortable environment for staff and children. This project will help the daycare center purchase a new system in the facility and maintain the health and safety of those who utilize the daycare service.

  • The City of Keokuk is receiving a $66,000 grant used for the purchase of equipment for the Keokuk airport. The airport is in need of replacing existing edge lights along the airplane runway, direct buried cable with new LED lights, a conduit system, and a new Precision Approach Path Indicator (PAPI) system to help ensure that planes are a provided a visual indication of the aircraft's position relative to the designated glideslope for the runway. This project will help to ensure the safety of patrons utilizing the airport's runway.

  • The City of Montrose will use a $27,300 grant to help purchase a police vehicle for the city of Montrose. The city's Police Department currently has a vehicle in its fleet with high mileage and requires regular, costly maintenance. This project will help the city purchase a new vehicle with modern equipment that will replace the aging vehicle in its current fleet and allow the police department to continue providing essential public safety services to the 898 local residents.

  • The City of Villisca will use a $25,900 grant to purchase a power load cot for the city's volunteer ambulance service. The city's existing two ambulance vehicles are equipped with cots that require physical lifting by emergency service providers. This project will allow the city to purchase a new mission essential power-loading cot that will help protect emergency service providers from lifting injuries and will provide greater stability for patients.  

  • The Atalissa Community Fire Department, Inc. is receiving a $3,800 grant to purchase a backup generator so that the fire station can be an emergency shelter and cooling center during a power outage. The city was recently without power for 10 days that limited the fire department’s ability to effectively respond to emergencies.  

  • The City of Nichols is receiving a $28,000 grant to purchase a brush fire truck and air packs for the City of Nichols fire department.  The city's existing air packs have expired and are out of compliance.  The city's existing brush fire truck is aging and is in need of replacement.

  • The City of West Bend will use a $50,000 grant to assist in the purchase of a mini pumper fire truck to replace the city's existing 1987 model.  The new fire truck will provide emergency services for the city's 785 residents.

  • The City of Mount Ayr is receiving a $18,300 grant to purchase and install two emergency warning sirens. The city's existing sirens are not fully functional; while one siren still produces, sound, it no longer rotates, and the other siren is no longer functional at all. This project will help to provide emergency warning signals for the 1,691 residents of the local community.

  • The City of Milton will use a $60,000 grant to purchase a tractor and related apparatus. The new equipment will be used to help city service employees with street maintenance, snow removal, mowing and other maintenance needs.          


USDA is investing in 15 projects in rural Iowa through the Community Facilities Grant Program. These programs provide affordable funding to develop essential community facilities in rural areas. An essential community facility is defined as a facility that provides an essential service to the local community for the orderly development of the community in a rural area, and does not include private, commercial, or business undertakings.

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.

Interested parties should contact their local USDA Rural Development Iowa Office for information about additional funding, application procedures and eligibility details. The Community Facilities Direct Loan Program Guidance Book for Applicants also provides a detailed overview of the application process.

USDA Rural Development has 11 offices across the state to serve the 1.7 million residents living in rural Iowa. Office locations include a state office in Des Moines, along with local offices in Albia, Atlantic, Humboldt, Indianola, Iowa Falls, Le Mars, Mount Pleasant, Storm Lake, Tipton and Waverly. These offices help to provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs 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 areas.

For more information, visit or call (515) 284-4663. Follow us on Twitter @RD_Iowa.


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