Projects Funded Will Protect Public Health, Improve Infrastructure and Boost Local Economies
WHITE HALL, Ala., Aug. 12, 2015 - U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is in Alabama today to announce $4.9 million in new funding for projects that will protect public safety and health, improve water and wastewater infrastructure and create expanded economic opportunities in rural Alabama.
"The investments that USDA is announcing in Alabama today are vital to protect public health and safety and improve the economic well-being of the state's rural residents," Vilsack said. "USDA is proud to work with Alabama's state and local leaders to make these projects a reality."
While in the state, Vilsack will visit projects that have previously received USDA Rural Development funds. He will participate in the project launch for a wastewater treatment facility in White Hall. USDA contributed a $1,024,000 grant and a $112,000 loan toward the project.
Vilsack will also visit Kyser Catfish Farm in Greensboro. The farm received a $49,600 grant in 2011 through USDA's Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). The grant has allowed the farm to increase its energy efficiency and create additional jobs. In Marengo County, Vilsack will visit with farmers at the Marengo County Business Development Center, which received a $40,000 Rural Business Enterprise Grant to help farmers process, package and distribute their produce.
During his visit, Vilsack announced investments of $4.9 million in the state, including the projects listed below. A complete list of projects is available.
- The city of Marion is receiving a $21,000 Water and Environmental Program (WEP) planning grant to determine the cost and feasibility of upgrading and expanding the water system.
- The Water Works and Sewer Board of the town of Fort Deposit is receiving a $29,580 WEP grant to determine the cost and feasibility of upgrading and expanding the water system.
- The town of Grove Hill is receiving a $7,500 Community Facilities (CF) grant to purchase body cameras, computers and other equipment for the police department.
- The Wilcox County Board of Education is receiving a $683,500 CF loan and a $50,000 CF grant to renovate the natatorium at Wilcox County High School.
- Boy Scouts of America (Mobile Area Council) is receiving a $49,000 CF grant to make improvements at Camp Maubila in Clarke County, including construction of a pavilion and five Adirondack sleeping platforms and other improvements.
- The Rural Development Foundation is receiving an $11,700 CF loan and a $14,800 CF grant to purchase computers, printers, microphones and audio visual equipment to assist communities with economic development.
- The Lowndes County Commission is receiving a $389,100 CF loan and a $41,000 CF grant to make upgrades and replace equipment for the emergency 911 system, which currently is not in operation.
The following organizations are receiving funding under USDA's Rural Business Development Grant (RBDG) program:
- Arsenal Place, Inc. is receiving a $125,000 grant to renovate a building in Selma that will be used for conferences, workshops and business offices. Approximately 30 jobs are expected to be created from this project.
- The Community Foundation of Northeast Alabama is receiving an $89,000 grant to provide technical assistance to faculty and nursing students who partner with KidCheck Plus to provide health screenings to children in Perry and Dallas Counties.
- The Alabama Tombigbee Regional Commission is receiving a $100,000 grant to help purchase an HVAC system for a commercial building in Camden.
The following businesses and organizations in Alabama are receiving funding under USDA's Rural Energy for America (REAP) program:
- Page & Palette, Inc. is receiving a $36,100 grant to purchase and install energy-efficient windows and doors, four HVAC systems, additional insulation and tankless water heaters.
- Monroe County Gin Co. Inc. will use a $204,817 grant to purchase and install energy-efficient lighting and cotton gin drying equipment.
- Bobby's Grocery and Service Station, Inc. is receiving an $18,367 grant to purchase and install an energy-efficient HVAC system, improve lighting and install a heat recovery system.
- Suds City, LLC will use a $56,257 grant to purchase and install energy-efficient washers, dryers, water heaters, lighting and insulation.
- Max Oil Company, Inc. will use a $46,094 grant to purchase and install an HVAC system and energy-efficient lighting.
- Health Actions, P.A will use a $28,802 grant to purchase and install an energy-efficient HVAC system and LED lighting.
- Hendrix Tractor Company, Inc. is receiving a $24,246 grant to purchase and install energy-efficient HVAC systems, waste oil heaters and to improve lighting.
- Cullman Heritage Funeral Home will use a $63,665 grant to purchase and install solar panels.
Over the past six years, USDA has invested nearly $18 billion to support the farmers, ranchers and growers who are driving the rural economy forward. These investments include record conservation efforts and are facilitating groundbreaking research, promoting new markets for rural products, and providing a safe, affordable and nutritious food supply for Alabama families. To learn more about the impact of USDA investments in Alabama, check out the USDA Invests in Alabama factsheet (PDF, 68.3 KB).
President Obama's historic investments in rural America have made our rural communities stronger. Under his leadership, these investments in housing, community facilities, businesses and infrastructure have empowered rural America to continue leading the way - strengthening America's economy, small towns and rural communities.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (866) 632-9992 (Toll-free Customer Service), (800) 877-8339 (Local or Federal relay), (866) 377-8642 (Relay voice users)