ST. PAUL, Minn., June 23, 2020 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development State Director for Minnesota Brad Finstad today announced that USDA is investing $50,000 for essential maintenance equipment in the city of Blackduck.
“Modern, safe infrastructure and the equipment to maintain it are the bedrock of any community,” Finstad said. “It’s clearing the streets of snow in the winter for people to get back and forth to work safely; it’s having the equipment to clean up fallen debris after a storm. All these things contribute to the economic prosperity of rural America. Under the leadership of President Trump and Agriculture Secretary Perdue, USDA is dedicated to assisting rural communities like Blackduck with their long-term commitments to economic prosperity, because when rural America prospers, all of America prospers.”
The city of Blackduck will use a $50,000 Community Facilities Grant to purchase a new skid steer loader machine. Blackduck Public Works Department maintains approximately 10 miles of city streets, one and one-half miles of alleyways and six city parking lots. All of these areas are in need of snow, sand and debris maintenance throughout the year, which is hard to achieve with their existing single plow truck. This project will help purchase a skid steer that can be used year-round and allow public works staff the ability to more efficiently manage city maintenance tasks.
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 www.rd.usda.gov/mn.