Denver, CO, Aug 29, 2012 -- USDA Rural Development Acting Deputy Under Secretary Judith Canales today announced a $3.6 million loan and a $1.8 million grant to the City of Walsenburg to improve water quality and sanitation services.
“Reliable, clean and abundant water is a precious resource to sustain life and promote economic development for all communities,” said Canales. “This funding will help revitalize the City of Walsenburg by providing a safe, environmentally responsible, water handling system.”
While in Colorado, Canales also visited the Conejos Library District and the Town of Antonito. Both were recently awarded funding through the Rural Development Community Facilities Program. This year, the Conejos Library District received a grant to renovate the library and make it more energy efficient. A portion of the grant funding was awarded through the Economic Impact Initiative (EII) Grant program, which targets funds to rural counties where unemployment rates exceed 19.5 percent.
The Town of Antonito received a grant to purchase body armor, a radar system, a portable intoxilizer, uniforms and public safety equipment. “The funding of these projects also supports the USDA Strike Force Initiative,” Canales said. “This is a department initiative to relieve persistent poverty in high-poverty counties by improving participation in and access to our programs and services. To date in 2012, USDA Rural Development has provided nearly $471,000 to Conejos County.
After visiting Conejos County, Canales announced the award of a $99,950 USDA Rural Business Enterprise Grant to the historic Windsor Hotel in Del Norte. Funds will be used to renovate the hotel complex and create a conference center that will be used by small rural businesses. The project will also assist four businesses and create at least 20 jobs.
Canales ended her trip in Colorado at a groundbreaking ceremony for the Riverhouse Children’s Center in Durango. She announced a $1.6 million USDA Community Facilities loan to build a new handicap-accessible center, which will allow it to serve all children in the community.
President Obama's plan for rural America has brought about historic investment and resulted in stronger rural communities. Under the President's leadership, these investments in housing, community facilities, businesses and infrastructure have empowered rural America to continue leading the way – strengthening America's economy, small towns and rural communities. USDA's investments in rural communities support the rural way of life that stands as the backbone of our American values. President Obama and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack are committed to a smarter use of Federal resources to foster sustainable economic prosperity and ensure the government is a strong partner for businesses, entrepreneurs and working 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 existing portfolio of more than $172 billion in 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. For additional information on Rural Development programs in Colorado visit our website at www.rurdev.usda.gov/co
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