Lexington, KY, Jun 22, 2012 -- Officials with USDA Rural Development are in Hawesville today to join the trustees of the Hancock County Library board for a grand opening ceremony for the new public library.
State Director Tom Fern said Rural Development awarded the library board a Community Facilities direct loan in the amount of $2.3 million to construct a 10,000 square foot facility. The project was needed to accommodate computers for public use, meeting space for local organizations and educational classes and more adequate space for books and other items available to the public.
“No community is complete without a vibrant public library, which provides small town residents with access to tools to improve their quality of life,” said Fern. “Libraries play a vital role in bridging urban and rural communities by providing access to books and computers. Oftentimes, the public library is the only place in a rural town where people can access the Internet to do research for school, take advantage of distance learning opportunities, look for a job or market a product or service.”
USDA announced the Rural Libraries Initiative in December 2009, making $100 million in USDA Rural Development CF loan and grant funds available in fiscal year 2010 to support the construction, renovation, expansion or improvement of public libraries across rural America.
In the past two years, Rural Development has awarded nearly $10 million in funding for the construction of new libraries in six Kentucky counties, including Lewis, Breckinridge, Gallatin, Owen and Trimble.
USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, administers and manages more than 40 housing, business and community infrastructure and facility programs through a national network of 6,100 employees located in the nation's capital and nearly 500 state and local offices. 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. Rural Development has an existing portfolio of nearly $142 billion in loans and loan guarantees.
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, D.C. 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272 (voice), or (202) 720-6382 (TDD).