News Release
Release No.STELPRD4022253
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(AUGUST 20, 2013) USDA ANNOUNCES FUNDING FOR EMERGENCY SERVICES IN SEVERAL EASTERN KENTUCKY COUNTIES
Lexington, Kentucky, Aug 20, 2013 --

@@USDA Rural Development State Director Tom Fern has announced nearly $115,000 in USDA grant funds to support local emergency service needs in Jackson, Letcher and Magoffin Counties. 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.

In Jackson County, the Jackson County Fiscal Court has been selected to receive $44,310 in grant funds to assist with the purchase of an Oxygen Generating System for the Jackson County Ambulance Service to insure a readily available and dependable oxygen supply in emergency or disaster situations for a rural population of approximately 13,495 in Jackson County, one of Kentucky’s persistent poverty counties. The total cost of the improvements is $81,940.

In Letcher County, the Letcher County Fiscal Court has been selected to receive $20,340 in grant funds to assist with the purchase of a new 2012 4WD to serve as the emergency response mobile command center for the county, thereby providing efficient and effective protection and emergency services for a rural population of approximately 25,277 in Letcher County, one of Kentucky’s persistent poverty counties.

In Magoffin County, the Magoffin County Fiscal Court has been selected to receive $50,000 in grant funds to assist with the purchase of communications equipment (repeaters, antenna systems, interface cable) for 21 sites in Magoffin County. These improvements will strengthen the county-wide communication network for first responders. The equipment will increase the existing radio coverage in the county from 25% to approximately 98%, thereby providing efficient and effective communication with dispatch and with other first responders, as well as surrounding counties. Magoffin County has a rural population of 13,332 and is one of Kentucky’s persistent poverty counties.

“The Obama Administration is committed to supporting efforts by local Kentucky governments to meet their emergency response needs,” said Fern. “I am pleased that USDA is able to work in partnership with Jackson, Letcher and Magoffin County officials to support these much needed projects.”

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.