North Carolina’s schools, fire and police departments will benefit to help local communities thrive.
NORTH CAROLINA – U.S. Department of Agriculture is investing $65 million to improve critical community facilities to benefit more than 600,000 rural residents announced USDA Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Bette Brand on April 2, 2020.
“Access to modern community facilities and essential services is critical for growth and prosperity in rural communities,” Brand said. “Under the leadership of President Trump and Agriculture Secretary Perdue, USDA is committed to being a strong partner with rural communities to provide essential services, because we know that when rural America thrives, all of America thrives.”
USDA is funding six projects through the Community Facilities Direct Loan and Grant Program in North Carolina.
“We are investing in the future of our communities with each of these projects,” said State Director for USDA Rural Development in North Carolina Robert Hosford. “Municipalities need to have the ability to serve their people so these areas continue to grow. We are helping to assure that can happen.”
The investments can be used for purposes such as to build or upgrade schools, libraries, clinics and public safety facilities. For example:
Willow Oak Montessori Foundation Inc. will use a $184,000 loan to construct three buildings for Willow Oak Montessori Charter School. Each building will be approximately 11,000 square feet in size. These buildings will be used for varying education levels: preschool, lower elementary and middle elementary. The school anticipates growth and plans to add additional grade levels, but the current leased facility does not have the additional space.
- The Calypso Volunteer Fire Department Inc. will use a $171,400 loan to construct two drive-through bays at the Calypso Volunteer Fire Department's station. The additional bays will provide the necessary space for the department to park all eight trucks and vehicles inside the station and will provide room for additional vehicles.
- The Comfort Rural Fire Department will use a $101,200 to purchase a building for the Comfort Rural Fire Department to house rescue equipment. The department currently operates out of a building that meets the needs for fire services; however, there is little storage space.
- The town of Williamston will use a $721,789 loan for two investments:
- Additional funds of $312,744 to purchase and renovate a 10,800 square foot building for the Williamston Police Department. The town currently operates out of a 78-year-old building that the department has outgrown.
- This Rural Development investment of $409,045 will be used to provide additional funds to renovate the town of Williamston's fire station.
- The town of Freemont will use a $27,000 loan to purchase two new police vehicles for the Fremont Police Department. The town's police department currently owns five vehicles, most of which have high mileage. One of their vehicles was totaled during Hurricane Florence.
“When many of these services were purchased years ago they were state of the art,” said Hosford. “Like many things they need updating to provide the best service to our communities. USDA RD is providing these communities the opportunity to give the best buildings and services to their local communities.”
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. 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.
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.