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community facility program

A USDA-Funded Project Brings Hope to Illinois Valley's Homeless

Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Patrice Kunesh recently visited Lily PADS Resale Boutique in Peru, IL, a community-supported funding vehicle for two Illinois Valley “Public Action to Deliver Shelter” (PADS) homeless shelters. Rural Development’s 2009 partnership with Hometown National Bank secured a loan guarantee, which PADS used to construct a new retail facility that enabled the organization to warehouse and sell goods from one location. The store has been so successful that Lily PADS recently expanded its storerooms and retail space again.

"This project exemplifies the significance of USDA funding to essential community facilities such as Lily PADS," Kunesh said. "Because of the USDA Community Facility Guarantee, the owner's dream to serve the community became a reality; and because of the owner's perseverance, the resale boutique became successful." So successful in fact that the bank was able to relinquish the guarantee earlier this year. "This is exactly the kind of project USDA Rural Development envisioned - community based and financed, playing a vital role in this rural community, and giving back in multiple ways!"

With USDA Support, A Health Center in Alaska’s Susitna Valley Celebrates a Grand Opening

On a beautiful, bright Sunday in August, members of the Alaska  USDA-Rural Development team met with the leadership of the new Sunshine Community Health Center and other funders to celebrate the grand opening of the new healthcare facility in Willow.  They were joined by members of the surrounding communities which this new clinic will serve, including Willow, Houston and Skwentna, Alaska.

The old healthcare building of some 1,400 square feet had grown outdated in both accommodations for staff and residents needing medical services.  The work space to provide private exams and perform much needed medical procedures was too small and no longer met the required protocols.

“The new building is a 6,800 square foot facility that houses six new exam rooms, allowing the clinic to expand and supply necessary healthcare expertise and services to the residents of the surrounding service area.  It will provide many new jobs ranging from entry-level support personnel to professional and bring higher levels of medical services,” said Rural Development Alaska State Director Jim Nordlund.

Library Celebrates Grand Re-Opening Three Years After a Devastating Fire

In July of 2008, Swan's Island Library and former Old Atlantic Schoolhouse (circa 1903) was struck by lightning. The building and its contents were completely destroyed by fire, and along with it and important community gathering place and a treasured piece of history.

Three years to the month after the tragic incident, the community gathered for the Grand Opening of the new Swan’s Island Library.

USDA Grant Improves Health and Safety for Clients of Adult Day Center in Minnesota

For almost 50 years, ProWorks Inc. has provided valuable day services to Minnesota adults living with disabilities. For the last 30 years, ProWorks has counted the USDA as one of its partners.

ProWorks started as a pilot project in 1962 in the basement of an old school building in West Central Minnesota. About 30 years ago, ProWorks used a USDA Rural Development loan to build its current facility in Litchfield, Minn. ProWorks also has a facility in nearby Dassel.

Bridgewater College Dedicates New “Green” Student Housing

On a beautiful summer morning, more than 200 Bridgewater faculty, staff, students and local residents celebrated the completion of a $14 million dollar student housing project on the rural campus of Bridgewater College.

The new “Stone Village” as named by the college for its past President, Mr. Phillip Stone, will be a complex of five, two-story, colonial-designed housing that will be on the cutting edge of energy efficiency and minimize its environmental impact on the rural campus. The housing is registered as a potential Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver project and incorporates such green features as high efficiency HVAC, occupancy sensor lighting, recycled building materials and even the interior paints that were used were all environmentally friendly to improve indoor air quality.

USDA Rural Development Provides Support to Improve Medical Facilities in a Minnesota Region

Access to quality healthcare in Northeastern Minnesota received a major boost on May 20. That’s when officials broke ground on an expansion project that will add over 80,000 square-feet to Community Memorial Hospital (CMH) in Cloquet, Minn.

During the ceremony, officials also highlighted how the project will create and save jobs in the region during the construction phase and once the expansion is finished.

About 300 local jobs are expected to be created during construction. CMH also employs about 400 people and contributes about $40 million annually to the regional economy.

Thanks to USDA Support, Recovery Act Support, a Georgia Hospital Receives a New Digital Mammography System

Recently, Evans Memorial Hospital in Claxton, Georgia, received $200,000 in Recovery Act loan and grant funds to purchase a state-of-the-art digital mammography system. “This equipment will provide better imaging and allow for more accurate diagnostics,” said Donnie Thomas, acting Georgia Rural Development state director. “Providing reliable health care is a priority in rural areas.”

Funds were provided through USDA Rural Development’s Community Facility Programs, which are designed to improve the quality of life in rural communities. The $100,000 loan is repayable at 4 percent over 10 years. “This equipment will save lives,” Thomas said. “Keeping medical equipment current can be a big expense, but the benefit far outweighs the cost.”

Groundhog Job Shadow Day

I’m at the new Fire Station in Wilder, Idaho, where Engine 821 can now be stored indoors, protected from the elements, thanks to the community approving the financing of the station through USDA Rural Development’s Community Facility Loan and Grant Program, with funding provided to Rural Development in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act) of 2009.