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USDA Invests $65 Million in Rural Community Facilities in 14 States

Charron Culp
Release Date

NASHVILLE, Tenn., April 2, 2020 - Today, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Bette Brand announced that USDA is investing $65 million to improve critical community facilities to benefit more than 600,000 rural residents in 14 states. Rural Development State Director Jim Tracy is pleased to announce that Tennessee will invest nearly $8.7 million in loans and grants to three projects across the state.

“The agency is committed to providing a foundation for progress and prosperity,” Tracy said. “Rural communities flourish when modern and accessible municipal services and public safety are available.”

USDA is funding 38 projects through the Community Facilities Direct Loan and Grant Program. The investments can be used for purposes such as to build or upgrade schools, libraries, clinics and public safety facilities. In Tennessee:

  • The city of Martin, Tenn., will use a $6.5 million loan to build a state-of-the-art library. The library will include open Wi-Fi, children’s centers and technology areas. It will also have space to host conferences, concerts, meetings and private events.
  • Dyer County will use a $1.9 million loan and $150,000 grant to aide the county in the purchase of nine new fire trucks. The fire trucks will be pumper trucks that will replace the existing trucks in service. The pumper trucks are the most critical piece of equipment the fire department uses. They are crucial for the fire fighting and emergency response.
  • True Purpose Ministries will use a $170,000 loan to purchase a 1,250 square-foot house to provide transitional housing for clients.  True Purpose Ministries is a 12 to 24-month rehabilitation program that incorporates trades in work-force development. The campus is located in Blount County, Tenn.  The new home will allow for 16 additional program participants.

Brand also announced projects today in Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, South Dakota, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.

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 USDA Rural Development state office for information about additional funding, application procedures and eligibility details. Also see the Community Facilities Direct Loan Program Guidance Book for Applicants (PDF, 669 KB), a detailed overview of the application process.

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 key 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 www.rd.usda.gov/tn.

If you’d like to subscribe to USDA Rural Development updates, visit our GovDelivery subscriber page.



USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender.