USDA invests $4 million in rural Minnesota communities

New USDA program aims to help farmers and families in need

ST. PAUL, Minn. (KEYC) — The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Tuesday it is investing $4 million to build and improve critical community facilities that will benefit nearly 9,000 rural residents in Minnesota.

Tracy Ambulance Service in Tracy, Minnesota, received a $100,000 loan and a $50,000 grant to purchase a new ambulance vehicle and replace a 2009 vehicle that requires regular costly maintenance.

The new vehicle will allow Tracy Ambulance Service to continue providing service with state-of-the-art equipment and efficiency.

“Modern, safe infrastructure is essential to the continued prosperity of rural communities,” said Brad Finstad, the state director for USDA Rural Development in Minnesota. “Whether it’s helping a community finance a new assisted living center or replacing expired fire trucks, each plays a substantial role in furthering economic prosperity for these small, rural communities. Under the leadership of Agriculture Secretary Perdue and USDA Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Bette Brand, USDA is dedicated to the partnerships that make projects like these a reality. Because when rural America thrives, all of America thrives.”

Other projects receiving funding in Minnesota include:

  • Clinton Community Clinic in Clinton, Minnesota, which received a $3.477 million loan to build a 23,000 square-foot assisted living facility;
  • The City of Blackduck, which received a $30,000 loan and a $50,000 grant to purchase a new skid steer loading machine and accompanying attachments that will allow the city to manage snow, sand and debris more efficiently and effectively throughout the year; and
  • The City of Canby, which received a $100,000 loan and a $50,000 grant to purchase a fire truck for the Canby Fire Department. The new truck will replace an older 1993 pumper truck that was experiencing regular maintenance issues. With the new truck, the Canby Fire Department will be able to assist in a wider range of calls inside and outside the Canby city limits.

The investment into rural Minnesota communities comes through the USDA’s Community Facilities Direct Loan and Grant Program, which allows rural communities in 23 states the option to use the investments to build or upgrade a wide range of rural community facilities, including schools, libraries, clinics and public safety facilities.

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