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community facilities grant

A New Science Classroom Ready for Experiments

The Lake Holcombe High School in Holcombe, Wisconsin recently upgraded its science classroom as a result of a USDA Rural Development Community Facilities Economic Impact Initiative Grant.  Holcombe is a small rural community in the northwest area of the state.  The science classroom was outdated, making it difficult for the teachers to keep pace with new curriculum requirements and for students to conduct the necessary science experiments for that curriculum.

The newly redesigned science classroom is now compliant with the provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and is similar to other high school science classrooms in the state.  A tank was also installed, along with new plumbing, to provide treatment for the chemical waste generated from science-related class work.  Now, the science curriculum can be expanded to offer experiences and experiments to the students that are equivalent with other science courses offered to their peers in the state.  In addition, new flooring, counters tops, bench fuel valves, sinks, and cabinets were installed, bringing the classroom into the 21st century.  The 2013-2014 school year will be the first full year that the students will have access to the improvements.

Federal Officials Visit Future Site of Primeros Pasos (First Steps)

Last week, United States Senators Tom Carper and Chris Coons and USDA officials announced a federal grant award to Primeros Pasos, a non-profit organization dedicated to the establishment of a multi-cultural early child care education center for all children of families living and working in the Georgetown, Delaware area.

USDA recognizes that access to quality child care is a major component in helping the unemployed and underemployed make the transition to employment.  This organization is improving the quality of life in rural America and is gifted with the two elements necessary for the success of this facility -- sound management and community support.

Presidentially-Declared Disaster Area Gets USDA Help to Provide Healthy Food to Local Residents

The Village of Harrisonburg, Louisiana, the 750-person seat of Catahoula Parish, will soon provide a centralized location for farmers to sell their fresh, healthy produce to its citizens and others in the surrounding area.  The Village received funding through USDA’s Community Facility grant program in order to provide a location for a farmer’s market in their town.

This farmers market project will provide an essential public service to a persistently poverty-afflicted area with an unemployment rate of 54.9 percent and a median household income of under $22,000, which is below the poverty level.  Catahoula Parish is a special emphasis parish as well as a 2008 presidentially declared disaster parish.

USDA Assists in the Rebirth of the Tomato Capitol of the World

Nestled among mountain regions between Scranton and Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania the city of Pittston is the gateway to the Wyoming Valley. The city gained prominence in the late 19th and early 20th centuries as a booming coal mining center.  After experiencing many ups and downs, Pittston is experiencing a rebirth as family businesses come back to the downtown area. With local, state and federal funding from USDA Rural Development, Transportation Enhancement Grants and state gaming revenue grants, Pittston is halfway through a 20-year revitalization project that includes continued upgrades to the streetscape, library and City Hall.

With USDA Assistance, a Historic Mississippi Courthouse gets a New Lease on Life

In 2009, Bolivar County, Mississippi, Administrator William Hooker and a board-delegated crew of local leaders traveled to meet with members of Congress in Washington, D.C., to rally for the financial support to restore the Bolivar County courthouse in Rosedale, MS. They received funding for the project and on April 2, 2012 a ground breaking ceremony was held for the First Judicial District Courthouse located in Rosedale. USDA Rural Development awarded a $350,000 Recovery Act Community Facilities grant. The project also received a $350,000 Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Economic Grant, a $300,000 grant from the MS Department of Archives and History, and $300,000 from the Bolivar County Board of Supervisors. A majority of the money went towards improving the building's weakening foundation. Installing a new roof and a number of interior retouches were also big parts of the restoration.

Deputy Under Secretary Visits Successful Rural Initiatives in Illinois

What do 13 doctors in Southern Illinois, hundreds of outpatients and a bilingual library have in common?  USDA Rural Development! Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Doug O’Brien recently visited the Monroe County Surgical Center in Waterloo and the Fairmont City Library Center in the Illinois Metro East area near St. Louis.  Both were recipients of Rural Development funding during the last two years.  O’Brien saw in person what the two have in common…success of two local projects that are models for other businesses and communities eligible for Rural Development funding.

Bountiful Harvest for Area Youth

Whether it is youth midnight basketball tournaments or a writing class in the library, the Cheyenne River Youth Project (CRYP), in Eagle Butte, South Dakota is always bustling; serving the youth of the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation and community.  In the fall however, the CRYP is even busier with fall harvest from their Winyan Toka Win Garden, a 1.5 acre naturally raised garden, which is a major component of their Sustainable Systems initiative.

Macon, Missouri Seniors get a New Center with USDA Support

Lying in the heart of Mid-America and the historical crossroads of two US highways, Macon, Missouri is a city with a rich cultural heritage and strong vision for the future. Macon offers the amenities of a small friendly city with the advantages of a growing city. History acknowledges the fact that in 1872 a man named John Beaumont, a real estate man and promoter, donated 10,000 young maple trees in payment of taxes of $116.00 to the City of Macon.  Now Macon is known as the "City of Maples" with over 275,000 maple trees.

As the senior population increases yearly, the Senior Center of Macon saw an increasing need for nutritious meals to be provided to the older residents.  Plans were made, blueprints were drawn, and the search for funding was begun in earnest.

A Northern Wisconsin Community Opens a Shelter for Victims of Domestic Abuse Thanks to USDA and Community Funding Support

The time had come for a community to see what it has built when the Household Abuse Victims Emergency Network (HAVEN, Inc.) recently celebrated the grand opening of their new Domestic Abuse Shelter and Office Facility in the northern Wisconsin community of Merrill.

The newly renovated building will provide improved confidentiality and security, more office space and better facilities for staff to meet with clients. The larger shelter includes six bedrooms with a total of 24 beds, more bathrooms, a large new kitchen designed for convenient use by multiple residents, better laundry facilities, and is handicapped accessible. There is also a large living and dining area for residents, a children’s play room and a teen room. The lower level includes a room which can be used for groups or meetings.