Bangor, Maine, Mar 25, 2013 -- USDA Rural Development State Director Virginia Manuel announced four community projects that will impact rural Maine. USDA remains focused on carrying out its mission, despite a time of significant budget uncertainty. Today’s announcement is one part of the Department’s efforts to strengthen the rural economy.
"I am pleased that USDA Rural Development can assist with improvements that make our rural Maine communities sustainable and vibrant. These projects will help allow for infrastructure expansion, dependable water systems, energy efficiency improvements, and critical programs that support our rural population in these towns.
The following organizations will receive funding under this announcement:
• Bath Area YMCA, in Bath, has been selected to receive a Community Facility Direct Loan in the amount of $1,150,000 for energy efficiency improvements, upgrades, and debt refinancing. The facility will convert from oil to natural gas, install energy efficient lighting, and replace its HVAC unit.
• Bethel Water District, in Bethel, has been selected to receive a Water and Waste Disposal Loan in the amount of $275,000 for replacing aged cast iron water mains along Vernon Street in Bethel. The upgraded mains will allow better flow for fire protection, improved water quality, and reliable service to 624 users on the system.
• Town of Orono, in Orono, has been selected to receive a Community Facility Direct Loan in the amount of $2,000,000. Funding will be used to expand the Town’s existing parking lot located at the corner of Maine Street and Bennoch Road in downtown Orono.
• Penquis Mental Health Association, in Dover-Foxcroft, has been selected to receive a Community Facility Direct Loan in the amount of $131,000. Funds will be used to purchase an existing residential facility that will provide essential development and intellectual disabilities services. This project will provide a facility for the organization’s Adult Residential Supported Living program.
USDA has made a concerted effort to deliver results for the American people, even as USDA implements sequestration – the across-the-board budget reductions mandated under terms of the Budget Control Act. USDA has already undertaken historic efforts since 2009 to save more than $700 million in taxpayer funds through targeted, common-sense budget reductions. These reductions have put USDA in a better position to carry out its mission, while implementing sequester budget reductions in a fair manner that causes as little disruption as possible.
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 65 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.