Lexington, Kentucky, Aug 02, 2013 -- USDA Rural Development State Director Tom Fern has announced $75,000 in USDA grant funds to the City of Sharpsburg to assist with the renovation of the Sharpsburg High School gymnasium. The United States Department of Agriculture 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.
Rural Development funds will be used to complete the renovation of the old Sharpsburg High School gymnasium building in order to establish a multi-purpose community training center to provide public meeting space, classrooms, a shelter in case of emergency or natural disaster, and a satellite branch of the Bath County Library for approximately 295 citizens of Sharpsburg in rural Bath County, one of Kentucky’s persistent poverty counties. The USDA funds will be supplemented by funding through the Commonwealth of Kentucky – Department for Local Government (Community Development Block Grant through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development), the Appalachian Regional Commission and local community and foundation contributions. The total construction cost is $1,508,385. USDA previously approved a $300,000 in loan and grant funds in fiscal year 2011.
“I commend Sharpsburg officials and area citizens for joining together to create this much needed community center focused on improving the quality of life for local residents,” said Fern. “I am pleased that USDA is able to be a partner in this effort.”
For information on other projects funded by USDA Rural Development, please visit Rural Development’s interactive web map featuring program funding and success stories for fiscal years 2009-2012. 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, which 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. 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 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 $828 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.