WASHINGTON, July 23, 2018 – Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Anne Hazlett today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $17.4 million in 41 projects that will provide essential services for rural communities in 22 states.
Wahoo Public Buildings & Grounds Association in Wahoo, Nebraska is the recipient of a $691,000 loan with terms of 40 years at 3.875 rate of interest. This Rural Development investment will be used to buy an existing building in Wahoo for the City Maintenance Department. The project will include minor modifications to the structure, including: restroom renovations to meet Americans with Disability Act compliance, a meeting room, a locker/break room, and storage space. Additionally, project funding will be used to buy a pre-fabricated building and appropriate fencing for the Street Department’s salt storage needs. The project will result in: a joint service center for all city departments – one building with a lean-to (13,750 sf), areas for community equipment and material storage, a land parcel (59,500 sf), a salt storage pre-fabricated shed and the minor interior modifications to the building noted above.
“Rural America represents a wealth of opportunity– from farms to tourism, forestry, mining and manufacturing,” Hazlett said. “At USDA, our mission is to be a catalyst to bring those opportunities to life – whether building infrastructure, helping communities to attract jobs, accessing additional capital, or improving the quality of life in these towns.”
USDA is making the investments through the Community Facilities Direct Loan Program. The funding helps rural areas purchase, construct or improve essential facilities. An essential community facility is one that provides a necessary service for the orderly development or operation of a rural community, such as schools, libraries, health care facilities, day care centers and infrastructure improvements. For more information in Nebraska contact your local office: https://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/community-facilities-direct-loan-grant-program/ne.
More than 100 types of projects are eligible for USDA Community Facilities funding. Eligible applicants include municipalities, public bodies, nonprofit organizations and federally and state-recognized Native American tribes. Applicants and projects must be in rural areas with a population of 20,000 or less. Loan amounts have ranged from $10,000 to $165 million.
The Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 Omnibus spending bill increased the budget for the Community Facilities Direct Loan and Grant program to $2.8 billion, up $200 million from FY 2017.
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 services such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov.