LIVINGSTON, Tenn., Feb 27, 2012 -- A study conducted last year found that Tennessee was ranked fourth in the nation for obesity and fifth for high blood pressure and diabetes and the diabetes rate alone has doubled in the last 20 years. In the Northeast part of the state, one small town has decided to fight back against those statistics.
USDA Rural Development (RD) Area Director Joe Woody joined Greene County Mayor Alan Broyles, Baileyton Mayor Tommy Casteel and other local officials to announce federal funding of a walking track that will be constructed inside the city park.
"Providing opportunities for our residents to safely exercise locally is vital to the future of every healthy community," said Woody. "Making these infrastructure investments puts people to work now and it lays the foundation for healthy growth in this area while combating the growing issue of obesity and other health issues.."
An RD Community Facilities Grant of $18,000 will be combined with $6,000 from the town to create and pave the walkway. The quarter-mile walking track will provide the residents of Baileyton a safe place to exercise which will ultimately reduce the amount of people walking on the main road and in turn reduce the potential for related accidents.
Others who participated in the event included Sen. Lamar Alexander’s Representative Lana Moore, Sen. Bob Corker’s Representative Bridgett Baird, Baileyton Town Recorder Barbara Tilson and RD Area Specialist Louis Trivette.
Rural Development community programs finance construction or improvements to essential services like reliable access to clean water, wastewater treatment, healthcare, education, job training and first responder facilities. Loan-guarantees encourage private lenders to expand the availability of affordable financing in rural communities. Direct loans and grants create sound financial opportunities for local governments to meet essential infrastructure needs.
USDA Rural Development invests in jobs, infrastructure, homeownership and affordable rental housing in rural communities. Last year the agency assisted tens of thousands of Tennessee families and businesses, investing more than $737 million through affordable loans, loan guarantees and grants.
For more information on Rural Development programs available in Northeast Tennessee contact the Rural Development Area Office in Greeneville at 423-638-4771 ext. 4, toll free at 800-342-3149 ext. 1490, or online at www.rurdev.usda.gov/tn.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender. To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410, or call (800) 795-3272 TDD (615) 783-1397