Rural Nebraska communities in FEMA declared disaster counties continue to utilize the $2.2 million provided by USDA for disaster recovery. The grants are available through the Community Facilities Program.
In December, the Burwell Rural Fire District, city of Geneva, and the city of Superior were provided with a total of $125,300 for their projects. Recently, three more awards totaling $79,900 join the list for a grand total of $205,200 in grant assistance.
The Superior Historical Re-Development, Inc. will utilize Rural Development funds to continue with the renovation of their historical auditorium. New ceiling tiles and insulation will be installed to help with the heating, cooling and acoustics. The auditorium benefits the city’s 1,957 residents.
The village of Ruskin will use the Rural Development funds towards the village’s community building exterior renovation. The building is more than 100 years old and work is needed for tuckpointing repairs to two exterior walls, protecting from future damage. The community building is essential to its 123 residents.
The Sheridan County Sheriff’s Office is using the Rural Development funding to assist in the purchase of seven Panasonic tough books, pedestals, and accessories for use in the department’s squad cars. The equipment will allow the department to serve the public safer and more efficient through the added capacity to track officers, research incidents, issue e-citations, tracking hazardous weather and will aid in quickly communicating with the service area of 5,469 residents.
“I am pleased to see that the much-needed USDA recovery dollars continue to assist the impacted communities in Nebraska,” said Nebraska State Director Karl Elmshaeuser, USDA Rural Development. “Currently we have received 36 requests for assistance that we are processing. We encourage eligible municipalities, counties, and non-profits to continue to contact us with their community’s needs.”
The $2.2 million is included in the Additional Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Act that President Trump signed into law on June 6, 2019.
Nebraska declared counties are: Adams, Antelope, Arthur, Banner, Blaine, Boone, Box Butte, Boyd, Brown, Buffalo, Burt, Butler, Cass, Cedar, Cherry, Cheyenne, Clay, Colfax, Cuming, Custer, Dakota, Dawes, Dawson, Deuel, Dixon, Dodge, Douglas, Fillmore, Franklin, Frontier, Furnas, Gage, Garden, Garfield, Gosper, Grant, Greeley, Hall, Hamilton, Harlan, Hayes, Holt, Hooker, Howard, Jefferson, Johnson, Kearney, Keith, Keya Paha, Kimball, Knox, Lancaster, Lincoln, Logan, Loup, Madison, Merrick, Morrill, Nance, Nemaha, Nuckolls, Omaha Indian Reservation, Otoe, Pawnee, Phelps, Pierce, Platte, Polk, Ponca TDSA, Richardson, Rock, Sac and Fox Indian Reservation, Saline, Santee Indian Reservation, Sarpy, Saunders, Scotts Bluff, Seward, Sheridan, Sherman, Sioux, Stanton, Thayer, Thomas, Thurston, Valley, Washington, Wayne, Webster, Wheeler, Winnebago Indian Reservation, and York.
Grant applications will be accepted at USDA Rural Development Attn: Community Programs; 100 Centennial Mall North; Federal Building Room 308; Lincoln, Neb. 68508. Applications will be accepted on a continual basis until funds are exhausted. Grant assistance will be provided on a graduated scale; smaller communities with the lowest median household income are eligible for a higher proportion of grant funds. For application details and additional information, see page 47477 of the Sept. 10 Federal Register. In Nebraska, contact your local Rural Development Community Program Staff.
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. Projects must be in eligible 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 www.rd.usda.gov.