USDA officials will join city and county leaders today to highlight the completion of a new fire department for Springfield/Washington County Fire Protection.
Thomas G. Fern, State Director for USDA Rural Development, said the agency provided Washington County with $1.575 million through its Community Facilities direct loan program to construct the new facility.
“The Community Facilities Program helps rural communities like Washington County and cities such as Springfield upgrade public safety equipment and improve security while at the same time providing the services needed to attract business and create economic opportunities,” said Fern.
The new 10,400 square-foot-facility was needed to provide enough space to house the volunteer fire departments of Springfield and Washington County. In their previous location, space was extremely limited and firefighting gear was often kept offsite and older trucks could not be stored indoors.
With the new facility, there is plenty of room to house equipment and trucks, as well as office and meeting space. The bays have direct access to Main Street, improving ingress and egress and shortening response times.
USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, administers and manages housing, business and community infrastructure and facility programs through a national network of state and local offices. These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America.
President Obama's plan for rural America has brought about historic investment and resulted in stronger rural communities. Under the President's leadership, these investments in housing, community facilities, businesses and infrastructure have empowered rural America to continue leading the way – strengthening America's economy, small towns and rural communities. USDA's investments in rural communities support the rural way of life that stands as the backbone of our American values.