USDA Invests in Community Facilities Improvements for 3.3 Million Rural Americans in 23 States including South Carolina

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Donald “DJ” LaVoy announced that USDA is investing $139 million in 56 projects to improve community facilities and provide essential services for 3.3 million rural residents in 23 states.

“Modern, accessible and reliable community infrastructure, public safety facilities, schools and health facilities are essential components to strong and prosperous communities,” LaVoy said. “Under the leadership of President Trump and Agriculture Secretary Perdue, USDA is committed to being a strong partner in building and modernizing these facilities in rural America, because we believe that when rural America thrives, all of America thrives.”

USDA is making the investments through the Community Facilities Direct Loan Program. Interested parties should contact their USDA Rural Development state office for information about additional funding, application procedures and eligibility details. Also see the Community Facilities Direct Loan Program Guidance Book for Applicants, a detailed overview of the application process.

Following are the community facilities projects South Carolina that were recently funded:

• Bamberg County is receiving $150,000 to construct a pre-fabricated 2,000 square foot fire substation in zone 3 of Bamberg County. A fire substation in this area is needed to improve the safety of local citizens. The county is unable to construct the station without Rural Development's assistance.

• Sandhills Medical Foundation Inc. is receiving a $2.9 million loan to expand the existing medical facility. The project includes a 12,770 square-foot building and improvements to an adjacent 1.89-acre site. Upon completion of the project, the buildings will be connected providing more efficient staff access to both facilities. The proposed facility would be geared primarily towards pediatrics, leaving the existing facility to handle mostly general practice for adult patients. In addition, the project will include more exam rooms with support space, more efficient use of existing space, improved layout and work flow in certain areas and continued in-house services.

• Fox Creek High School Inc. is receiving over $2.4 million loan to build 10 classrooms, one of which will serve as a lab at the Fox Creek High School located in Edgefield county. There will also be two administrative offices, and restrooms. When completed, the project will add 11,700 square feet on the northeast wing of the campus. This project is the third phase we have completed for the school.

• In Hampton County, a $2.6 million loan will be used to construct two, 10-unit, t-hangar buildings, two, 60’ x 80’ corporate hangars, a full-length, parallel taxiway, associated taxi lanes and sitework on the southeast side of the airport. The construction of these hangars will meet the current demand for pilots in the area wanting to base their aircraft at the Hampton County Airport.

• In Jasper County, a $1.3 million loan will be used to construct a fire rescue station (apparatus bays). When completed, the building will be 5,604 square feet with 2,055 square feet of that being living quarters for personnel. The site is in an excellent location for immediate response north and south on SC-462.

• Newberry College is receiving $3 million loan to construct a 60-bed residence hall for Newberry College located in Newberry, S.C. The college recently constructed a new residence hall completed in December 2018 and have projected the need for additional housing based on their recent enrollment.

More than 100 types of projects are eligible for Community Facilities program funding. Eligible applicants include municipalities, public bodies, nonprofit organizations and federally recognized Native American tribes. Projects must be in rural areas with a population of 20,000 or less.

The investments announced today are in Alabama, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Virginia. USDA had $2.8 billion available for Community Facilities direct loans and grants in fiscal year 2019. USDA will make additional funding announcements in coming weeks.

USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov/sc.

In April 2017, President Donald J. Trump established the Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity to identify legislative, regulatory and policy changes that could promote agriculture and prosperity in rural communities. In January 2018, Secretary Perdue presented the Task Force’s findings to President Trump. These findings included 31 recommendations to align the federal government with state, local and tribal governments to take advantage of opportunities that exist in rural America. Increasing investments in rural infrastructure is a cornerstone recommendation of the task force.

To view the report in its entirety, please view the Report to the President of the United States from the Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity (PDF, 5.4 MB). In addition, to view the categories of the recommendations, please view the Rural Prosperity infographic (PDF, 190 KB).

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