Salt Lake City, Utah, Mar 12, 2014 -- During the past fiscal year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development Agency improved the lives of thousands of rural Utahns by investing more than half a billion dollars into rural Utah communities. USDA Rural Development developed homeownership opportunities, supported job creation initiatives, and funded community improvement projects by providing $535,685,238 in loans and grants to rural Utahns.
The funding details, as well as highlights for the year’s successes, are available in a locally-produced report totaling the year’s numbers. View the report.
“USDA Rural Development’s programs are designed to build up Utah’s economic health. The combined impact of all our programs and cooperative partnerships helps reduce rural poverty and improve the quality of life for Utah’s rural residents,” said USDA Rural Development Utah State Director Dave Conine. “Our success in improving housing, infrastructure, and economic opportunity in rural Utah is due to the skill and dedication of our employees and their ability to do more with less by being innovative and applying new efficiencies.”
Community facilities loans and grants to improve rural communities totaled more than $24 million. The Leeds Special Service District secured a loan of $49,700 and a grant of $8,700 to purchase a wild land fire truck and equipment to better fight fires and ensure the community’s safety. In Minersville, the town received a $50,000 grant to improve the city library.
USDA Rural Development loans and grants are also provided to secure safe drinking water and safe wastewater conditions for communities. During fiscal year 2013, nearly $8 million was invested to improve water, sanitary sewer, solid waste, and storm drainage facilities.
More than 2,600 families received loans to become homeowners in fiscal year 2013. Grants and loans totaling $479,003,310 were supplied to build, repair, rehabilitate, and purchase homes in rural Utah. Lacy and Sheldon Beltran of Heber City persevered to qualify for the Mutual Self Help housing program. The Beltrans are working with several other families to contribute at least 35 hours of labor per week, per family, in building a group of homes which are expected to be completed in April of this year in the beautiful Heber Valley. Sheldon Beltran said though it is challenging to squeeze in the hours necessary to work on the home, so far the family has enjoyed the experience and is excited to own the home they have already worked so hard for.
Funding for USDA Rural Development business and cooperative programs, including energy programs, totaled $24,194,928 in fiscal year 2013. These programs help to create and retain jobs in rural areas, to improve energy development, create new businesses, and increase revenue for rural business ventures. Diamond Ranch Academy, a residential treatment center for youth in Hurricane, received a loan of $6,850,163 to build a new facility and better serve the students, who live and attend school at the same location while overcoming personal challenges.
More information on programs available through USDA Rural Development can be accessed by calling (801) 524-4324 or by visiting the agency’s website at http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/ut.
USDA Rural Development has seven field offices across Utah to best serve the state’s rural residents. Office locations include the State Office in Salt Lake City, and field offices in North Logan, Vernal, Provo, Manti, Richfield, Cedar City, and Monticello.
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.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (866) 632-9992 (Toll-free Customer Service), (800) 877-8339 (Local or Federal relay), (866) 377-8642 (Relay voice users)