STEVENS POINT, Wis., APRIL 2, 2020 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development State Director Frank Frassetto announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $65 million to improve critical community facilities to benefit more than 600,000 rural residents in 14 states.
“Access to modern community facilities and essential services is critical for growth and prosperity in rural communities,” Frassetto 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 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. In Wisconsin, the Village of Belleville Community Development Authority will use a $4 million loan to construct a library and community center. The library serves the needs of the village of Belleville, as well as residents from the communities in the towns of Exeter, Brooklyn, New Glarus, Primrose, Montrose and Oregon and the villages of Brooklyn and New Glarus. The new library/community center allow for future expansion and provide meeting space for community activities and small groups or businesses.
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, 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. In addition, to view the categories of the recommendations, please view the Rural Prosperity infographic.
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/wi.
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