U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Donald “DJ” LaVoy announced on Monday, Sept. 30, that USDA is investing $139 million in 56 projects to improve community facilities and provide essential services for 3.3 million rural residents in 23 states.
“Modern, accessible and reliable community infrastructure, public safety facilities, schools and health facilities are essential components to strong and prosperous communities,” LaVoy said. “Under the leadership of President Trump and Agriculture Secretary Perdue, USDA is committed to being a strong partner in building and modernizing these facilities in rural America, because we believe that when rural America thrives, all of America thrives.”
In Pennsylvania, State Director Curt Coccodrilli announced over $5 million in five projects that will benefit 11,000 rural residents. “These investments in essential community infrastructure will improve the quality of life and address the critical needs of our rural residents,” Coccodrilli said.
Thompson Hose Company is receiving a loan of $94,300 and grant of $50,000 to purchase a new four-wheel drive ambulance.
The new ambulance will allow Thompson Hose Company to reliably deliver emergency medical services, when needed, and cut down on ongoing repairs for the company’s current ambulance.
Congressman Fred Keller (R-12th) said, “Providing emergency medical care in rural Pennsylvania is a difficult task and this grant money will allow the Thompson Hose Company to more reliably provide emergency medical services when called upon. I thank the USDA Sec. Sonny Perdue and the United States Department of Agriculture for providing this Rural Development investment money for this needed service.”
USDA is making the investments through the Community Facilities Direct Loan Program. Interested parties should contact the Pennsylvania 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.
More than 100 types of projects are eligible for Community Facilities program 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.
USDA had $2.8 billion available for Community Facilities direct loans and grants in fiscal year 2019. USDA will make additional funding announcements in coming weeks.
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.
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).