BESSEMER, Ala. – United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Assistant Secretary Dr. Jewel Bronaugh announced on Wednesday that the USDA is currently investing $1 billion to build and improve critical community facilities in 48 states, in Porto Rico and Guam. Investments will help rural communities fund emergency response vehicles and equipment; build or improve hospitals and clinics and help fund other essential community facilities.
Funding for these grants and loans has extended to local communities in McKean County.
Kane received $27,000 as a grant from the USDA’s Economic Impact Initiative, which paid for part of the $49,000 spent on a new police SUV.
“We actually received notice of this grant a while ago,” Kane Mayor Brandy Schimp said. “So now we have a new police unit added to our department with our new city brand, inc. – we also adopted a new patch and logo for the police department with this unit, which is really exciting.
In addition to Kane, the City of Bradford received a $100,000 Community Facilities Grant from the USDA, in September 2021, which paid for part of the city’s new 2022 Horton Ambulance. “We had applied for the USDA grant with the intent of paying about 65% of the cost of the new ambulance and receiving it has certainly been a huge help in offsetting the expenses of the city budget,” said Chris Lucco, Administrator of the city of Bradford.
Elsewhere in Bradford, the Bradford Township Volunteer Fire Department (BTVFD) received a $604,000 loan and $176,000 grant through the Facilities Direct Loan and Grant Programs USDA Community. The combined sum of these two programs contributed to the purchase of two new fire trucks for the Township.
The two new fire trucks were purchased in March 2021 to replace the 2001 and 2006 trucks, which were recently retired due to age, according to Fire Chief Dan Burkhouse.
“The original delivery date for the new fire trucks was May/June this year but that date has already been pushed back once – so now we are expecting the new vehicles hopefully in September or October but I wouldn’t be not surprised if shortages and shipping delays don’t push the delivery date even further and into 2023,” Burkhouse explained.
The total cost of the two new trucks is approximately $1.2 million and while the USDA loan and grant was helpful, it did not cover the entire expense of the new trucks, which motivated the BTVFD to previously and continuously raise additional funds through its fundraising truck campaign. , with raffles, 50/50 and other fundraising events.
For more information on the two new trucks or to donate to the Truck Fund campaign, visit the Bradford Township Volunteer Fire Department Facebook page.
Bronaugh highlighted 731 other projects the USDA has done across five programs that fund essential community services to help rural America rebuild. These programs include Community Facility Direct Loans and Grants, Community Facility Loan Guarantees, Community Facility Technical Assistance Training Grants, Community Facility Disaster Grants, and Community Facility Initiative Grants. of economic impact.
“These loans and grants will help rural communities invest in facilities and services vital to all communities, such as health care facilities, schools, libraries, and first responder vehicles and equipment. When we invest in essential services in rural America, we create opportunity and prosperity for people who call rural communities home,” Bronaugh said.
More than 100 types of projects are eligible for community facility funding. Eligible applicants include municipalities, public agencies, non-profit 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 state USDA rural development office for information on additional funding, application procedures, and eligibility. Also see the Community Facilities Direct Loans Program Guide for Applicants for a detailed overview of the application process.