Lexington, KY, Jun 12, 2012 -- Federal, state and local officials are in Rowan County today to announce USDA funding for projects to improve water quality and assist small business development in the area.
Tom Fern, State Director for USDA Rural Development, said Rowan Water has been awarded more than $1.4 million to install new water lines, improve water storage tanks and upgrade maintenance facilities. These improvements will enable Rowan Water to continue providing a safe and dependable source of water for existing and future customers.
“Rural Development’s support for infrastructure projects reflects our commitment to ensuring rural communities can create jobs, attract businesses and provide essential services to their residents,” said Fern. “Officials with Rowan Water are to be applauded for taking the initiative to ensure they can provide adequate water service to its customers, while also planning for future needs and enhancing their opportunities for economic development.”
Funding for the project was made available through Rural Development’s Water and Environmental Program in the form of a low-interest loan and grant.
Fern also announced that Morehead State University has been awarded $92, 785 through the agency’s Rural Business Enterprise Grant program. The grant will be used by the University’s Small Business Development Center to provide technical assistance to businesses operating in Center’s 25-county service area.
The Center provides small and emerging businesses with critical guidance and comprehensive training in business ownership basics such as business planning, record keeping, financial analysis, capital formation and marketing. This proposal will also assist with two special projects - the Regional Entrepreneur Conference and a Women’s Business Symposium.
Rural Development’s Water and Environmental Programs (WEP) provide loans, grants and loan guarantees for drinking water, sanitary sewer, solid waste and storm drainage facilities in rural areas and cities and towns of 10,000 or less. Public bodies and non-profit organizations may qualify for assistance. Rural Development also makes grants to nonprofit organizations to provide technical assistance and training to assist rural communities with their water, wastewater, and solid waste problems. For more information, go to http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/UWEP_HomePage.html.
Rural Development’s RBEG program provides grants for rural projects that finance and facilitate development of small and emerging rural businesses help fund distance learning networks and help fund employment related adult education programs. To assist with business development, RBEGs may fund a broad array of activities. Examples of eligible fund use include: Acquisition or development of land, construction, conversion, renovation, of buildings, plants, machinery, equipment, capitalization of revolving loan funds including funds that will make loans for start-ups and working capital; training and technical assistance; and project planning. The project must benefit small and emerging private businesses in rural areas.
USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, administers and manages housing, business and community infrastructure and facility programs through a national network of state and local offices. Rural Development has an active portfolio of more than $165 billion in affordable loans and loan guarantees. These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (866) 632-9992 (Toll-free Customer Service), (800) 877-8339 (Local or Federal relay), (866) 377-8642 (Relay voice users).