COLUMBUS – Rural Development State Director Dave Hall has announced USDA in Ohio invested more than $71 million in Fiscal Year 2017 funding for nearly 30 projects that provide essential services to thousands of rural Ohioans.
“Long-term, targeted investment in American infrastructure is a keystone initiative for the Trump administration, and it’s particularly vital to helping restore and promote rural prosperity here at home.” said Hall. “USDA’s Community Facilities Direct Loan Program is integral to this effort, and I’m proud of every snow plow, police cruiser, fire truck, and public building we had a hand in bringing to life last year.”
Here are some examples of how 2017 Community Facilities (CF) funds are being put to work in the Buckeye State:
• A $67.2 million CF loan will help Ohio Northern University (Hardin County) position itself to better educate the next generation of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) leaders. Funds are financing the construction of a 109,500-square-foot, LEED-certified building to house ONU’s College of Engineering. Additional funds will help build a new Information Technology facility adjacent to the current Business Services building, and will remodel and update the existing College of Engineering for new uses. A private institution founded in 1871, ONU has an undergraduate enrollment of about 2,400 on a rural campus encompassing about 340 acres in Hardin County.
• In Darke County, a $50,000 CF grant is helping finance the purchase of two transportation vehicles, plus offset the cost of computer equipment upgrades, for use by Darke County Recovery Services, also known as Recovery & Wellness Centers of Midwest Ohio. Certified as an outpatient addiction agency by the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, the organization offers behavioral health services to nearly 198,000 residents of Darke, Miami and Preble Counties.
• A $189,000 CF loan is financing the Ohio Rural Water Association’s purchase of an adjoining property to expand the organization’s training center. ORWA provides classroom and on-site technical assistance to 768 statewide member organizations which, in turn, provide water and wastewater treatment to more than two million rural Ohio residents.
• In Logan County, a $525,000 CF loan is financing the construction of Harrison Township’s new headquarters, which includes much-needed space for equipment maintenance and storage. A separate $33,430 loan/grant combination will help purchase office furnishings, along with garage equipment and tools. The new building will meet modern accessibility standards, and serve as a community hub for Harrison Township’s 2,087 residents.
• Road maintenance equipment: More than $1.4 million in CF loan and grant combinations were separately awarded to the Village of Port Washington and 12 townships located in Belmont, Guernsey, Monroe, Pike, Stark and Tuscarawas Counties. Equipment purchases include dump trucks, backhoes, snow plows, salt spreaders, tractors, boom mowers, and skid steer loaders. The gear will help maintain more than 450 miles of roadways traveled by nearly 40,000 rural Ohioans each day.
• First responder vehicles: More than $1.6 million in CF loans and grants helped the Villages of New Boston (Scioto County) and Lakemore (Summit County), the Cities of Cortland (Trumbull County), Ohio City (Van Wert County), and Upper Sandusky (Wyandot County), along with Warwick Township (Tuscarawas County), purchase police cruisers, ambulances, or fire trucks. These new or refurbished vehicles will help ensure the safety of nearly 30,000 rural Ohioans.
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 services impacting schools, public safety and healthcare, and works to improve high-speed internet access in rural areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov.