USDA Invests in Public Safety Infrastructure in Dawson, Minn.

Nikki Gillespie
Release Date
Jan 30, 2020

ST. PAUL, Minn., Jan. 30, 2020U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development State Director for Minnesota Brad Finstad today announced that USDA is investing $28,000 for public safety infrastructure in the city of Dawson.

   “Modern, safe infrastructure is the bedrock of any community,” Finstad said. “When unreliable, the economic prosperity of that community is put at risk. Under the leadership of President Trump and Agriculture Secretary Perdue, USDA is dedicated to assisting rural communities like Dawson with their long-term commitments to public safety, because when rural America prospers, all of America prospers.”

   The Dawson Police Department will use a $28,000 Community Facilities Grant to purchase a new patrol vehicle. Currently, the department has two squad vehicles; a 2018 SUV and a 2013 sedan. Due to high mileage, the sedan requires regular costly maintenance and is no longer a reliable option. As a result, the department's two officers share the remaining SUV, reducing efficiency of public safety services for the communities of Dawson and Boyd. Winter storms also limit the department's ability to travel between the two cities, 13 miles apart. This project will help to purchase a 2019 4X4 pickup truck and replace the current sedan, ensuring the continued prosperity and efficient public service for these rural communities.

   Funding for today’s announcement was made available through the $150 million in grants included in the Additional Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Act that President Trump signed into law on June 6, 2019. These grants are to help eligible rural communities continue their recovery from the devastating effects of natural disasters.

   View the complete list of designated communities in Minnesota.

   Grants may be used for relief in areas affected by Hurricanes Michael and Florence; wildfires in 2018; and other natural disasters where the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has provided a notice declaring a Major Disaster Declaration and assigned a FEMA disaster recovery (DR) number. Please check the FEMA website for regular updates and names of additional communities that may be added.

   Grant applications will be accepted on a continual basis until funds are exhausted. Contact your local Area Office for further information or assistance with the application process. 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. For application details and additional information, see page 47477 of the Sept. 10 Federal Register.

   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 eligible rural areas with a population of 20,000 or less.

   In April 2017, President Donald J. Trump established the Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity to identify legislative, regulatory and policy changes that could promote agriculture and prosperity in rural communities. In January 2018, Secretary Perdue presented the Task Force’s findings to President Trump. These findings included 31 recommendations to align the federal government with state, local and tribal governments to take advantage of opportunities that exist in rural America. Increasing investments in rural infrastructure is a cornerstone recommendation of the task force.

   To view the report in its entirety, please view the Report to the President of the United States from the Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity (PDF, 5.4 MB). In addition, to view the categories of the recommendations, please view the Rural Prosperity infographic (PDF, 190 KB).

   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 facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. For more information, visit