Public Safety Equipment and Fire Equipment Will Benefit and Help Communities Thrive
MONTGOMERY, 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.
“Improving community facilities and essential services in rural Alabama can change a small community in a great way,” said USDA Rural Development State Director for Alabama Chris Beeker.
USDA is funding 38 projects through the Community Facilities Direct Loan and Grant Program. The investments can be used to build or upgrade schools, libraries, clinics and public safety facilities. Investments in Alabama include:
- The Littleville Volunteer Fire Department in Colbert County will use a $116,000 loan to purchase a new fire truck and equipment and to provide additional funding. The new mini pumper truck and equipment will provide access to water in areas that lack fire hydrants. This addition to the fleet will enable the department to provide fire protection to more rural residents.
- The Town of Forkland in Greene County will use a $12,800 loan to purchase two fully equipped police vehicles and office equipment. The police department has been closed since 2009 due to lack of funding. This funding will allow the police department to reopen and provide service to Forkland's residents. The new patrol vehicles also will respond to calls up to two miles outside the city limits.
- The Hazel Green Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department Inc. in Madison County will use a $221,500 loan to purchase 30 air packs with supplemental tanks, four thermal imagers and three cases of mask filters. The new equipment will allow first responders to improve response times and better serve the rural community.
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/al.
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USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender.