This time of year is always crunch time for grant writers, particularly those seeking roadway improvements, new trails, or safety enhancements. While substantial infrastructure projects tend to make more headlines, each community has substantial transportation needs that can sometimes be taken for granted. Projects like upgrading a garbage truck for solid waste, a fire truck for the local volunteer fire department, police cruisers for public safety, and perhaps a refrigerated truck to ship unused food to underserved populations.
The Regional Commission hosted USDA Rural Development staff on August 11th to share the latest news about their programs, which include funding options for critical community transportation needs. Projects such as a fire trucks are eligible for funding under the Community Facilities Grant Program, grants up to $50,000 can be combined with low interest loans (1.625%). Curbs, gutters, and sidewalks are also eligible and can be financed for a period of 20 years. Other eligible items such as equipment and buildings can be financed for terms of 10-12 and 40 years respectively.
Rural communities under 20,000 (can be defined at Census Block level) are eligible for the program. Project ideas are encouraged to be submitted in January/February each year. Priorities are given to projects that incorporate multiple loans and matching funds. Have questions? No worries, USDA Rural Development has developed a Community Facilities Infrastructure Toolkit, available online here: www.rd.usda.gov/files/RDCFIToolkit_Jan2016.pdf
For further information please contact Elijah Sharp ([email protected]), 540-639-9313, ext. 210.