Today, the 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. Of those states, Illinois USDA Rural Development State Director Douglas Wilson announced that $1,800,000 would be used to benefit five southern Illinois counties.
“Community facilities and essential services are the foundation for growth and prosperity in rural areas,” Wilson said. “When it comes to a community’s wellbeing, these programs help not only meet their current needs but also prepare them for future services. When rural America thrives, all of America thrives.”
USDA is funding 38 projects through the Community Facilities Direct Loan and Grant Program. The investments can be used for purposes such as building or upgrade schools, libraries, clinics, and public safety facilities. For Illinois:
- Greater Egypt Regional Planning and Development Commission (GERPC)Rural Development investment of $1,800,000 will be used to construct a new office building for Greater Egypt Regional Planning and Development Commission (GERPC). GERPC will operate from this facility and will lease a portion of the office space to Man-Tra-Con, another Not for Profit agency with similar services and goals for the community. Both organizations provide technical assistance and economic development to five counties which include Jackson, Franklin, Jefferson, Perry, and Williamson County. GERPC has been providing services since 1961.
Brand announced projects today in Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.
More than 100 types of projects are eligible for Community Facilities funding. Qualified 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 Illinois Area 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 crucial recommendation of the task force. To view the Report in its entirety, please see 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 see 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.
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