Davis, CA, Feb 17, 2010 -- Since being signed into law one year ago today, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) has made a big impact in California's rural communities. In Tulare County, ARRA funds are helping two communities with much needed projects. Farmersville is constructing a new Community Center and Woodlake Fire Protection District purchased a new fire truck.
USDA Rural Development provided Farmersville with a $2,392,000 Community Facilities loan to help construct a new Community Center that will also house the Boys and Girls Club. The City did not have any public meeting places for the community to gather except for the schools, but that will all change with the completion of the new facility. The Community Center will not only be home to the Boys and Girls Club offering kids a safe place to play and do homework, but will also provide the community a location to gather for meetings, classes and other programs offered by the City. The project is currently under construction, and the City expects it to be completed by the end of the year.
Woodlake Fire Protection District received a $120,000 loan and $50,000 grant through the Community Facilities Program to purchase a new fire truck. This latest engine brings the District's vehicle total to three, and is equipped with medical and extrication equipment. Much like other rural communities, Woodlake does not have ambulance service and relies on the District to respond to all emergency calls, in addition to fire service.
"One year in, it's clear that the Recovery Act is making a difference across California in rural communities like Farmersville and Woodlake," said USDA Rural Development State Director Dr. Glenda Humiston. "As this project and the hundreds others funded through ARRA conclude over the next few years, we will continue to see the effects in stronger, more vibrant rural communities."
ARRA loans and grants will continue to be available through USDA Rural Development until September 30, 2010, or until all funds have been awarded.
"President Obama's Recovery Act has helped create jobs and lay a new foundation for economic growth during the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. "USDA has used Recovery Act funding to create badly-needed jobs and stimulate local economies, help farmers and rural businesses make it through tough times, ensure that struggling families can put food on the table, and build and revitalize critical infrastructure in rural communities across America."
USDA Rural Development's mission is to increase economic opportunity and improve the quality of life for rural residents. Rural Development fosters growth in homeownership, finances business development, and supports creation of critical community and technology infrastructure. Further information on rural programs is available at one of California's 18 local USDA Rural Development offices or by visiting http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/ca.
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Washington, D.C. 20250-9410, or call (800) 795-3272 (voice), or (202) 720-6382 (TDD).