Bangor, ME, May 31, 2012 -- Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today released a report highlighting the ways in which infrastructure investments in rural communities help create jobs and boost economic development, and he announced additional investments that will create jobs and promote economic growth across the nation.
“Quality hospitals, schools and libraries are the building blocks for a vibrant rural America,” said Vilsack. "Today’s announcement illustrates how the Obama Administration is leveraging Rural Development’s investments to ensure that rural communities can compete in the global economy.”
In Littleton, Maine, a Rural Community Development Initiative Grant of $16,900 funds will be used to replace the old roof on the Southern Aroostook Agricultural Museum with metal roofing. The current roof has spots where there is leakage, which if not repaired, will compromise the exhibits housed in the museum. The Southern Aroostook Agricultural Museum showcases exhibits from early farming traditions in Aroostook County.
USDA Rural Development State Director Virginia Manuel said, “I am so pleased that the Southern Aroostook Agricultural Museum has been selected to receive grant funds which will help it remain an important asset to the community as it supports the strong legacy of farming in Aroostook County. It truly is a bridge between our strong farming heritage and today’s support of local agriculture.”
Since the start of fiscal year 2009, Rural Development’s Community Facilities Program has helped more than 37 million rural Americans address essential challenges in health care, education, public service and public safety by financing projects through loans, grants, or loan guarantees.
Vilsack announced that 38 Community Facilities investments in 21 states are being awarded today to continue the Administration’s commitment to help create jobs and improve the economy. For a complete list of awards announced today, please click here.
USDA Rural Development’s Community Facilities Program supports essential infrastructure and services for public use in rural areas of 20,000 in population or less. Financing for Community Facilities projects covers a broad range of interests, including healthcare, education, public safety and public services. There are three major Community Facilities Programs: Community Facilities Direct and Guaranteed Loan Programs, Community Facilities Grants, and the Rural Community Development Initiative.
Since taking office, President Obama’s Administration has taken historic steps to improve the lives of rural Americans, put people back to work and build thriving economies in rural communities. From proposing the American Jobs Act to establishing the first-ever White House Rural Council – chaired by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack – the President wants the federal government to be the best possible partner for rural businesses and entrepreneurs and for people who want to live, work and raise their families in rural communities.
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 Rural Development has Area Offices located in Presque Isle, Bangor, Lewiston, and Scarborough, as well as a State Office, located in Bangor. There are 69 employees working to deliver the agency’s Housing, Business, and Community Programs, which are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, and farmers, and improve the quality of life in rural Maine. Further information on rural programs is available at a local USDA Rural Development office or by visiting USDA Rural Development's web site at http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/me.