Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

USDA Announces Investment for Community Facility Infrastructure that will Benefit Nearly 6,000 Rural Minnesotans

 

ST. PAUL, Minn., May 13, 2019 – United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development State Director for Minnesota Brad Finstad today announced a more than $380,000 investment to improve essential services for nearly 6,000 residents on the Red Lake Band of Chippewa reservation.

"We are proud of the relationships we've built with the Tribal communities throughout Minnesota," Finstad said. "Projects like this help to ensure that these rural areas continue to have access to essential community facilities, modern infrastructure and equipment, and opportunities to achieving prosperity."

The Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians Road Department will receive $382,100 to help purchase essential equipment. The Road Department is responsible for maintaining the transportation infrastructure on the Red Lake Reservation. A new front-end loading truck and a combination gravel/snow plow will allow the Tribe to replace aging equipment that is beyond useful life and provide the nearly 6,000 local residents with efficient community services.

Finstad's announcement is in coordination with the nationwide investments announced by Acting Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Joel Baxley last week, totaling $68 million to build or improve community facilities and essential services for nearly 715,000 rural residents in Alaska, Alabama, Arizona, California, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, New Jersey, South Dakota, Texas and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

USDA is funding 20 projects nationwide through the Community Facilities Direct Loan Program. The funding helps rural small towns, cities and communities make infrastructure improvements. For example:

• The city of Atka, Alaska, will receive a $3 million loan to help build a new 3,850-square-foot community health clinic. Atka is an extremely isolated community on the Aleutian chain. The current clinic is the only one within a 350-mile radius, is in disrepair and does not meet the community's health care needs. The new facility will provide primary and preventative care, integrated behavioral health, dental, optometry, and emergency care.

• In North Carolina, the town of Winfall is receiving a $85,000 loan to purchase a multi-use fire and rescue vehicle for the fire department. The vehicle will provide reliable transportation and contain equipment to fight and contain small fires and respond to other emergencies.

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

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).

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 http://www.rd.usda.gov/mn.

 

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