BUTLER, Ind., Sep 17, 2012 -- The United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development is improving the lives of the residents of the City of Butler by presenting an $8,850 Community Programs Grant to the city. The Rural Development funds will be used to assist in the purchase and installation of three weather sirens.
For small cities and other rural communities in Indiana, the agency's Community Facilities Program finances essential community needs, including hospitals, daycare centers, fire trucks and equipment, storm sirens and a wide variety of other public use facilities and equipment.
USDA Rural Development Indiana State Director Phil Lehmkuhler commented, "Severe weather can strike unexpectedly, often resulting in serious personal consequences. Violent storms and the loss of life underscore the need for improved safety measures. The installation of storm sirens in a community offer important added safety and security whenever severe weather approaches. USDA Rural Development is able to assist communities with the resources to protect themselves and their families."
The agency's Community Facilities Program is a great tool to assist rural communities to develop new or enhanced facilities for public safety, public service and health care. Projects can include: schools; libraries; courthouses; childcare facilities; hospitals and medical clinics; assisted living facilities; installation of storm sirens; police and fire equipment, vehicles and rescue facilities; public buildings; and transportation needs.
Through the Agency's Community Facilities Program, USDA Rural Development is striving to ensure that such facilities are readily available to all rural communities. Community Facilities Programs utilize three financial tools to achieve this goal: the Guaranteed Loan Program, the Direct Loan Program, and the Grant Program.
"The benefits of the program through grants and low-interest loans can significantly improve the quality of life for community residents," added Lehmkuhler.
As defined for the Community Facilities Program, a rural area may be any city or town with a population of 20,000 or less, and all unincorporated areas. Public bodies such as cities and counties, nonprofit corporations, and federally recognized Indian Tribes may be eligible applicants for the Community Facilities Program.
For additional information on RD projects, please visit Rural Development's new interactive web map featuring program funding and success stories for fiscal years 2009-2011. The data can be found at: http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/RDSuccessStories.html.
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, has an active 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.
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, SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272 (voice), or (202) 720-6382 (TDD).