SEARCH - Special Evaluation Assistance for Rural Communities and Households in Oregon


What does this program do?

This program helps very small, financially distressed rural communities with predevelopment feasibility studies, design and technical assistance on proposed water and waste disposal projects.

Who may apply?

  • Most state and local governmental entities
  • Nonprofits
  • Federally recognized tribes

What is an eligible area?

Areas to be served must be rural and financially distressed:

  • Rural areas with a population of 2,500 or less
  • Have a median household income below the poverty line or less than 80 percent of the statewide non-metropolitan median household income based on latest Census data

How may the funds be used?

To pay predevelopment planning costs, including:

  • Feasibility studies to support applications for funding water or waste disposal projects
  • Preliminary design and engineering analysis
  • Technical assistance for the development of an application for financial assistance

Are there additional requirements?

The predevelopment planning costs must be related to a proposed project that meets the following requirements:

  • Construct, enlarge, extend or improve rural water, sanitary sewage, solid waste disposal and storm wastewater disposal facilities
  • Construct or relocate public buildings, roads, bridges, fences or utilities, and to make other public improvements necessary for the successful operation or protection of facilities
  • Relocate private buildings, roads, bridges, fences, or utilities, and other private improvements necessary for the successful operation or protection of facilities

How do we get started?

  • Applications for this program are accepted year round through your local RD office.
  • Program resources are available online (i.e., forms, guidance, certifications, etc.).

What governs this program?

  • Code of Federal Regulations, Title 7, Part 1774 - 7 CFR 1774
  • Section 306 of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act

Why does USDA Rural Development do this?

To help very small, financially distressed rural communities extend and improve water and waste treatment facilities that serve local households and businesses.

NOTE: Please select your state in the dropdown menu above to find the state office contact information and speak to a program specialist before attempting to fill out any forms or applications. This will save you time in completing your application.

National Architect Requirements:

There are no other architect, engineering or environmental requirements at the national level. If there are additional state-specific requirements they will be listed above. 

There are no other additional requirements at the national level. If there are additional state-specific requirements they will be listed above.

There are currently no events scheduled.

State Office:

Main Phone: (866) 923-5626 ext. 3
Relay Service: Dial 711 for a free relay service operated by the FCC
Fax: (855) 824-6181

USDA Rural Development
Attn: Community Programs
1220 SW 3rd Avenue, Suite 1801
Portland, OR 97204

Charlotte Bentley, Community Programs Director
(503) 414-3362, charlotte.bentley@usda.gov

Ella Nichols, Community Programs Specialist
(503) 414-3354, ella.nichols@usda.gov

Eric Nerdin, Community Programs Specialist
(503) 414-3326, eric.nerdin@usda.gov

Chris Laughton, Community Programs Technician
(503) 414-3330, chris.laughton@usda.gov

Technical Contacts:

Mike Beyer, State Engineer / State Environmental Coordinator
(503) 414-3368, michael.beyer@usda.gov

Emily Jennings, Engineer Intern
(503) 414-3337, emily.jennings@usda.gov

Norm Schoen, State Architect
(503) 414-3364, norm.schoen@usda.gov

Local Contacts:

Portland Office (Serving Northwest Oregon: Clackamas, Clatsop, Columbia, Hood River, Multnomah, Tillamook, Wasco, and Washington counties):
Eric Nerdin, Community Programs Specialist
(503) 414-3326, eric.nerdin@usda.gov

Tangent Office (Serving West Central Oregon: Benton, Lane, Linn, Lincoln, Marion, Polk, and Yamhill counties):
Holly Halligan, Community Programs Specialist
(541) 801-2682, holly.halligan@usda.gov

Roseburg Office (Serving Southwest Oregon: Coos, Curry, Douglas, Jackson, and Josephine counties):
Deanna Quimby, Community Programs Specialist
(541) 378-3547, deanna.quimby@usda.gov

Redmond Office (Serving Central Oregon: Crook, Deschutes, Jefferson, Harney, Klamath, and Lake counties):
Kimberley Young, Community Programs Specialist
(541) 699-3200, kimberley.young@usda.gov 

La Grande Office (Serving Eastern Oregon: Baker, Gilliam, Grant, Malheur, Morrow, Sherman, Umatilla, Union, Wallowa, and Wheeler counties):
LaDonn McElligott, Community Programs Specialist
(541) 624-3087, ladonn.mcelligott@usda.gov

View the service area maps for Community Programs in Oregon.