Syracuse, NY, Oct 15, 2011 -- USDA Rural Development (RD) celebrated the grand opening of the newly renovated Potsdam Humane Society (PHS) at a ribbon cutting. Rural Development issued a $90,000 grant and a $431,940 loan for the renovation and expansion of the animal shelter. The balance of the $1,091,940 project was funded with donations from the public.
Jill Harvey, State Director of USDA/RD, explained, “Rural Development provided over half a million dollars to Potsdam Humane Society. The expansion of the facility is to accommodate additional holding facilities, better segregation of sick and healthy animals, additional storage space, new conference/training room, and creation of office space for staff. It offers staff and local residents an animal shelter that is equipped to service thousands of animals each year.” Currently, the Potsdam Humane Society provides service to twelve towns in St. Lawrence County and houses over 1,200 animals a year.
USDA/RD’s grant and loan were predicated on PHS’ ability to match the government funds with community support. During PHS’ “Labor of Love” Campaign, donations from animal lovers throughout St. Lawrence County poured in. Businesses and individuals in Potsdam were particularly responsive.
Bonnie Boyd, PHS Board President, stated, “The importance of the community’s support for this project cannot be understated. Not only did it enable us to leverage USDA/RD’s support, more importantly, it allows us to significantly expand our services to meet the tremendous needs of animals in jeopardy throughout St. Lawrence County. This fabulous new facility enables us to maintain our commitment to being a no kill shelter while expanding education programs and pet adoptions in the community.”
The USDA/RD funding was made possible through Rural Development’s Community Facility Program. USDA Rural Development makes loans and grants to develop essential rural community facilities in areas of up to 20,000 in population. Direct loans may be made to applicants unable to obtain commercial credit. Priority is given to applicants in rural communities with populations of 5,000 or less. Applicants with low median household incomes receive a higher percentage of the grants.
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 the creation of critical community and technology infrastructure. For more information on USDA Rural Development programs, contact Rural Development’s state office at (315) 477-6400, or visit the Rural Development web site at http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/ny.