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May-18-2009 10:45printcomments

Rural Communities Get Real Boost From Feds

Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Announced $60 Million for Rural Community Facilities Projects. Local Communities will Purchase More than 120 Fire, Police, and Rescue Vehicles.

Federal funding
Courtesy: State of South Carolina

(LUDOWICI, Ga.) - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the selection of more than $60 million in essential community facilities and emergency responder projects that are being funded immediately with federal funds provided through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The 280 projects will help communities in 39 states.

"The Recovery Act funds provided today will help support rural communities' efforts to protect and serve their residents by providing essential public safety services," said Vilsack. "These projects are the first of many that are expected to create or save more than 1,350 jobs and help rural communities provide expanded access to health care, support first responder efforts, and finance libraries, schools and day care centers."

Approximately $19 million of the $60 million being announced today will be leveraged with $6.9 million from other sources to help local communities with the purchase of emergency services and systems, and fire and rescue equipment, including more than 120 fire, medical and police vehicles.

All of the funding is being provided through USDA Rural Development's Community Facilities program, which helps finance and develop essential community facilities for public use in rural areas. These facilities include childcare centers, hospitals, medical clinics, assisted living facilities, fire and rescue stations, police stations, community centers, public buildings and transportation. Through its Community Facilities program, USDA ensures that such facilities are available to all rural residents. These funds are available to public bodies, non-profit organizations, and recognized Indian tribes.

In Keshena, Wis., Rural Development is providing a $100,000 loan and grant to the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin to renovate the current Emergency Medical Services' building to provide adequate room for mergency vehicles, equipment and staff. The Emergency Medical Services, which is part of the Menominee Tribal Clinic, provides emergency response and transport capabilities 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The increased building space will allow all emergency vehicles to be stored on-site and not at a building 10 miles away, ensuring quicker emergency response times. The Meridianville Volunteer Fire Department in Madison County, Ala., has been selected to receive a $700,000 loan to replace the small, 20-year-old fire station with a new, larger, more centrally located facility. The 25-member volunteer fire department provides emergency fire and medical services to a rural community of 5,000 people. The new, improved facility will provide adequate and secure storage for their existing fire trucks and equipment and provide a community room for first-responder training and public education services for community residents. The new location will have room for expansion as the community's need for emergency services increase.

Funding of individual recipients is contingent upon their meeting the terms of the loan or grant agreement. More information about USDA Rural Development can be found at www.rurdev.usda.gov.

President Obama signed The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act) into law on Feb. 17, 2009. It is designed to jumpstart the nation's economy, create or save millions of jobs and put a down payment on addressing long-neglected challenges so our country can thrive in the 21st century. The Act includes measures to modernize our nation's infrastructure, enhance energy independence, expand educational opportunities, preserve and improve affordable health care, provide tax relief, and protect those in greatest need.

More information about USDA's Recovery Act efforts is available at usda.gov/recovery. More information about the Federal government's efforts on the Recovery Act is available at recovery.gov.

State Number of Projects Total Rural Development ARRA Funding and State Total Alabama Total 2 $743,480 Arkansas Total 32 $1,450,000 Arizona Total 2 $79,077 California Total 31 $6,752,945 Colorado Total 2 $33,025 Connecticut Total 1 $1,400,000 Delaware Total 2 $160,000 Georgia Total 4 $524,500 Illinois Total 4 $6,121,000 Indiana Total 4 $2,454,020 Kentucky Total 5 $412,270 Louisiana Total 3 $962,458 Massachusetts Total 1 $907,000 Maryland Total 8 $692,200 Maine Total 3 $3,176,000 Michigan Total 14 $4,795,000 Minnesota Total 3 $72,700 Missouri Total 26 $1,424,098 Montana Total 3 $1,359,025 North Carolina Total 13 $3,878,810 North Dakota Total 7 $1,071,450 Nebraska Total 3 $170,250 New Hampshire Total 11 $284,320 New Mexico Total 1 $29,250 Nevada Total 2 $26,742 New York Total 1 $110,000 Ohio Total 10 $5,216,000 Oklahoma Total 3 $801,011 Oregon Total 1 $27,692 Pennsylvania Total 3 $1,405,000 South Carolina Total 1 $787,200 South Dakota Total 1 $16,380 Tennessee Total 7 $4,463,200 Utah Total 4 $254,550 Virginia Total 31 $1,179,070 Vermont Total 11 $2,295,669 Washington Total 1 $8,400 Wisconsin Total 6 $3,108,500 West Virginia Total 1 $25,200

Source: USDA




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