United States Department
of Agriculture • Rural Development
Contact: Alec Lloyd
EAST LANSING, March 24, 2010 – USDA Rural Development Director for Michigan James Turner today hosted a series of ceremonies commemorating $1,142,000 in grants and loans for Walkerville, Hesperia, Big Rapids and Mecosta County.
“Now more than ever, USDA Rural Development is partnering with rural communities to improve the quality of life,” said Turner. “These funds will help local schools, fire protection and health care. We are particularly proud that the new fire truck for Big Rapids uses many components manufactured right here in Michigan.”
Walkerville Public Schools received a $35,000 grant to help pay for a new playground and Hesperia Public Schools received a $50,000 grant for playground equipment.
The City of Big Rapids received a $562,000 loan and a $100,000 grant for the purchase of a new aerial ladder truck, replacing a old and increasingly mechanically unreliable engine.
Purchased through Front Line Services, Inc. in Freeland, the chassis was built by Spartan Motors in Charlotte and the generator was made by Smart Power in Reed City.
In addition, the city is also receiving a $300,000 loan for a revolving loan fund to assist small businesses in the area. The money allows the city to provide credit to help local businesses start up or expand.
USDA Rural Development’s mission is to deliver programs in a way that will support increasing economic opportunity and improve the quality of life of rural residents. As a venture capital entity, Rural Development provides equity, liquidity, and technical assistance to finance and foster growth in homeownership, business development, and critical community and technology infrastructure. Further information on rural programs is available at a local USDA Rural Development office or by visiting USDA's web site at http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/.
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