USDA invests in U.P. projects


Mich. (WJMN) — Today, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Bette Brand announced that USDA is investing $65 million to improve critical community facilities to benefit more than 600,000 rural residents in 14 states.

“Access to modern community facilities and essential services is critical for growth and prosperity in rural communities,” Brand said. “Under the leadership of President Trump and Agriculture Secretary Perdue, USDA is committed to being a strong partner with rural communities to provide essential services, because we know that when rural America thrives, all of America thrives.”

USDA is funding 38 projects through the Community Facilities Direct Loan and Grant Program. The investments can be used to build or upgrade schools, libraries, clinics and public safety facilities.

“Infrastructure investments not only improve the day-to-day quality of life for rural Michigan communities, they add to its resiliency,” said USDA Rural Development State Director for Michigan Jason Allen. “USDA remains a trusted partner helping to strengthen rural areas.”

Michigan has three projects. Two of them are in the Upper Peninsula.

The City of Munising, in Alger County, will use a $170,000 loan to purchase a loader, replacing a 15-year-old unit. The loader will be used for snow removal during the winter and for other public works activities during warmer weather.

The St. Ignace Building Authority, in Mackinac County, will use a $250,000 loan to provide additional funding for the construction of the fire station. The authority is comprised of the city of St. Ignace, Moran Township and St. Ignace Township. The new 10,000-square-foot facility will replace the 3,900- square-foot station. There will be three drive-through apparatus bays, offices, a training room, men’s’ and women’s’ restrooms with showers, a storage room, a mechanical room and a mezzanine for storage.

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.

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 (PDF, 669 KB), a detailed overview of the application process.

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