Bernie, MO, Feb 08, 2011 -- Anita J. (Janie) Dunning, Missouri State Director of USDA Rural Development, presented the City of Bernie and the Bernie Volunteer Fire Department with certificates of appreciation on Tuesday, February 8, 2011. The City was awarded a $27,900 grant to purchase a police vehicle and an $8,730 grant to purchase fire-fighting equipment. The Volunteer Fire Department obtained a loan and grant combination in the amount of $175,009 to purchase a pumper fire truck.
“I’m pleased to hear that Bernie will be able to upgrade its firefighting equipment and purchase a new police car thanks to the support of USDA competitive grant funds,” U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill said. “We must ensure that the men and women who put their lives on the line to keep us safe have the proper equipment to do so.”
“The citizens of Bernie will be protected a lot better now that the city is able to purchase a new police vehicle and pumper fire truck along with other essential fire equipment,” said Representative Kent Hampton.
The City’s Volunteer Fire Department was able to replace several pieces of equipment that had become obsolete and did not offer maximum protection to the firefighters while the new pumper fire truck allows the Volunteer Fire Department to fight large fires where no fire hydrants are within access. The City was also able to replace an aging, high-mileage police vehicle with a newer model to ensure a quick response to any calls for an emergency.
“The people of southern Stoddard County will be safer thanks to the competitive grant funds and loan the Volunteer Fire Department is receiving,” added McCaskill. “Having the necessary resources to help residents during emergencies is critical to the health and well-being of its citizens.”
“I am pleased that Rural Department can help finance the police car, the fire truck and firefighting equipment," said Dunning. “These investments should assist with the safety of the residents in Bernie.”
USDA Rural Development’s mission is to deliver programs in a way that will support increasing economic opportunity and improve the quality of life of rural residents. As a venture capital entity, Rural Development provides equity and technical assistance to finance and foster growth in homeownership, business development, and critical community and technology infrastructure.
Anyone interested in obtaining information regarding assistance available through USDA Rural Development may visit the Missouri Rural Development home page at www.rurdev.usda.gov/mo. Information can also be obtained by contacting Cathy Walters, Area Specialist, at the USDA Rural Development Office at 831 South Highway 105 in Charleston, MO, or by telephone at (573) 649-9947, ext. 4.
“USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender.” To file a complaint of discrimination write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Ave., S.W., Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272 (voice) or (202) 720-6382 (TDD).