U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Ohio Rural Development Acting State Director Beth Huhn announced that USDA is investing $266 million to build and improve critical community facilities to benefit nearly 3 million rural residents in 16 states and Puerto Rico. This funding includes $156 million to support health-care-related improvements and emergency response services that will benefit nearly 1 million rural residents in nine states and Puerto Rico.
“The Biden-Harris administration has made restoring the economy a top-priority and USDA is playing a critical role,” Huhn said. “Rural America needs safe, modern community infrastructure to help residents and businesses achieve greater prosperity. These investments are important upgrades for these communities to enhance their quality of life to build back better and stronger.”
USDA is investing in 41 projects through the Community Facilities Direct Loan and Grant Program. The assistance will fund a variety of essential community services, including emergency response vehicles and equipment. 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.
- Scioto Township will use a $3.5 million loan to construct a fire station. The current building does not meet the Ohio Building Code and lacks adequate space for crew and equipment. The proposed 14,000-square-foot station will have five drive-through bays that can accommodate up to 10 vehicles. It also will have new bunk rooms, training and exercise space, restrooms and wellness areas.
- Millwood Township will use a $140,000 loan to purchase a road grader. The current road grader is reaching the end of its useful life. The new grader will enable the township to continue to maintain public roads and facilities.
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 for a detailed overview of the application process.