USDA highlighted investments in Fiscal Year 2017 that will help construct or improve infrastructure and boost economic growth in rural communities.
“USDA is focused on improving rural America’s infrastructure,” said Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue. “Investments such as the ones I’m highlighting today will improve the quality of life, create jobs, grow our economy and foster prosperity in rural areas.”
In Fiscal Year 2017, USDA used funding from the Community Facilities Direct Loan Program to invest more than $40 million in 31 projects to repair, enhance or build infrastructure. These investments were for projects such as surface transportation, aviation, ports, water and storm water resources, energy production and generation, and electricity transmission. They will benefit nearly 265,000 residents.
The investments are supporting projects in Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, North Carolina, New Jersey, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Vermont and Wyoming.
Below are some examples of infrastructure projects that Rural Development funded in FY 2017:
Alabama: The Grand Bay Water Works Board, Inc. received $80,000 to install a new 125 KW diesel generator and automatic transfer switch at the water office building and two diesel standby power units which are located at a well treatment facility site.
California: The Lindsay-Strathmore Irrigation District in Tulare County received an $11.3 million loan to replace 10 miles of steel irrigation pipe and to make road improvements. The District provides essential community services to nearly 170 homes, farms, municipalities and businesses.
Florida: The city of Wauchula received $279,546 to purchase a side arm sanitation truck and 1,500 sanitation bins for the city. The new truck replaces three older ones that are unreliable and costly to repair. Replacement of this equipment will improve efficiency and reduce operating costs.
Georgia: The city of Ellaville received $39,000 to purchase three vehicles for Ellaville's Public Works Department. The new trucks will replace high mileage, older vehicles to provide better and more efficient services to citizens.
Hawaii: The Hawaiian Shores Community Association received $2,050,000 to help finance replacement of the existing water storage tank with a 370,000 gallon tank, replace one of the two booster pumps, replace the hydropneumatic tank, upgrade the pressure relief valves, replace a section of piping to provide fire flow, install end-of-line clean outs, and make electrical upgrades. The system improvements are projected to serve the current needs and the future growth of the community.
Iowa: The city of Lamoni received $313,940 to dismantle, transport and rebuild a used hanger large enough to house six small jets or midsize turbo prop aircraft; expand the taxiway and apron; expand the existing runway; and acquire land in order to expand the runway an additional 4,000 feet at the city’s airport.
Illinois: The Village of Energy received $251,000 to resurface 3,950 feet of the west side of College Street – the major east-west road through the town. This project will make extensive road repairs for safety and to attract more businesses while providing an essential community service to approximately 1,100 residents in the village.
Kansas: The city of Wilson received $75,000 to upgrade the city’s streets to support a new housing development and associated infrastructure.
Kentucky: The city of Hazard received $200,000 to renovate an old downtown bus station to enhance economic development in the area.
Maine: The Aroostook Band of Micmacs received $500,000 to construct a two-story, 5,000 square foot public works, multifunction facility in Presque Isle. The facility will also provide needed space for various tribal programs including housing, realty and assets, youth, Head Start and elder programs. The project involves road, water, sewer and electrical upgrades and a new paved parking area.
New Jersey: The Buena Vista Township received $753,000 to demolish the old portion of the public works building and construct a public works facility on the same footprint.
North Carolina: The town of Elizabethtown received a $1.6 million loan to implement Phase II of the downtown revitalization project. The city will bury overhead utilities, install street lighting at 33 locations, and improve the landscaping and replace sidewalks along Broad Street, just west of the central business district. This project will help increase the quality of life for residents by enhancing walkability and potentially attracting new businesses downtown.
Ohio: Harrison Township received $525,000 to finance the construction of a building to house township offices, maintenance facilities and equipment. This new building will replace two older ones which no longer meet Harrison Township's needs, nor current accessibility standards for public buildings. The fully accessible building will provide 2,087 area residents with improved services.
Oklahoma: The Stigler Municipal Improvement Authority received $1,000,000 to install water and sewer infrastructure and complete parking and sidewalk work for a new critical access hospital to be constructed as a public-private partnership.
Pennsylvania: The North Coventry Township received $2,968,000 to construct a public works building and salt shed for the township.
Puerto Rico: The municipality of Moca received $3,000,000 to pave roads, construct catch basins, reconstruct entrances, and install concrete railing and steel guard rails. This road enhancement project will help improve the safety and quality of life for more than 5,000 families living in seven rural wards in Moca.
South Dakota: The city of Winner received $350,000 to make improvements to the street along East 8th in Winner, including drainage, asphalt, water main improvements and sewer upgrades.
Tennessee: The city of Sweetwater received $477,700 to help construct an administration building and a warehouse for storage of materials. The administration building will house the gas, electric, sewer and water departments and serve as a location for customers to pay their bills.
Texas: Somerset in Bexar County received a $1.28 million loan to resurface cracking and degraded roadways, reduce sediment build-up along the roads and improve drainage. Ponding on the existing surface creates a dangerous loss of traction when it rains. In addition to serving residential, commercial, educational and agricultural uses, Somerset’s roads provide key access for emergency vehicles. The USDA loan will create safer travel conditions for Somerset’s residents and emergency responders.
Virginia: The town of Farmville received $94,000 to purchase a Flail Mower Boom Tractor to clear right of way banks and ditch lines.
Vermont: Southeast Vermont Transit, Inc. received $1,500,000 to expand the Southeast Vermont Transit, Inc. (SEVT) facility in Rockingham. The project will renovate office space, add a mechanics bay, bus wash, parts room, storage, and a small mechanical room. The facility improvements will save energy and operational costs by using efficient fixtures, recycling water and reducing sewer discharges. This will allow SEVT to continue serving more than 30 rural southern Vermont towns in a financially sustainable manner.
Wyoming: Tongue River Valley Joint Powers Board received $3,985,000 to construct a natural gas pipeline from Sheridan, extending 17 miles along County Road 98 and County Road 67 to the communities of Dayton and Ranchester. Construction will include distribution lines throughout both communities. These improvements are expected to save the average household approximately $1,729 annually by switching from electric heating to natural gas, and $953 annually by switching from propane to natural gas.