Trump Administration Invests Over $66 Million in Rural Community Facilities in Pennsylvania
New Schools, Health Clinics and Public Safety Facilities Will Benefit Over 170,000 People
HARRISBURG, Pa., Oct. 28, 2020 – The Trump Administration today announced that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $869.3 million to improve critical community facilities to benefit 3.5 million rural residents in 43 states and Guam.
“Rural America needs safe, modern community infrastructure to help residents and businesses achieve greater prosperity and have access to essential services,” USDA Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Bette Brand said. “Under the leadership of President Trump and Agriculture Secretary Perdue, USDA continues to be a strong partner to rural communities, because we know that when rural America thrives, all of America thrives.”
State Director Curt Coccodrilli was pleased that more than $66 million of the investment would be dedicated to rural projects in Pennsylvania.
“During these unprecedented times our local rural communities continue to reach out to us as a means to fund their day-to-day operations and continuous improvement efforts and we at USDA Rural Development are always there to answer the call,” Coccodrilli said. “These loans and grants will provide the needed funds to purchase necessities such as patrol cars, waste removal vehicles, building repairs and a new health and science building at the Central Pennsylvania Institute of Science and Technology among other things.”
Nationwide USDA is funding 255 projects through the Community Facilities Direct Loan and Grant Program. These investments will be for such purposes as to build or upgrade schools, libraries, clinics and public safety facilities.
In Pennsylvania the loans and grants will support a dozen community upgrades.
- The Eagle McClure Hose Company Number One of Lackawanna County will use a loan valued at more than $1.8 million to build an addition to the Old Forge firehouse. The addition will be approximately 5,000-square feet and will be used to house fire apparatus. This addition will include replacing the generator and toilet rooms, as well as remodeling the garage into offices and team rooms. This building will house the fire company in addition to the two fire companies that are currently housed at the Old Forge borough building. The addition and interior renovations to the building will improve the traffic flow for fire company members, add fire safety walls, additional plumbing, and increase room utilization.
- The Warren County Law Enforcement Department will use $63,000 to purchase emergency communications response equipment, including portable radios with mounting stations, portable microphones, vehicle dash cameras, body cameras, a repeater system, and a recording system. The department currently owns radios to cover its emergency services department, however when radios need serviced this leaves first responders without radios. The county currently does not own a repeater system for its 911 center and its deputies do not have body cameras. The new equipment would allow the department to provide the community with more safe and reliable services.
- The Lancaster Township Fire Department was awarded $2.4 million to construct a fire station. The new facility will be located at 1275 Millersville Pike in Lancaster. It will be a pre-engineered, structural steel facility with five bays; and include space for operations, storage, meetings, and administrative functions. This will become the sole facility for the department and is needed because it currently operates out of two separate facilities.
- The Plumsteadville Volunteer Fire Company in Bucks County received a loan of $378,000 to remove the deteriorating substation and rebuild two bay garages on the same footprint. This project is essential to the fire company because the roof is separating from the walls, causing water to seep into the interior of the concrete block, making it disintegrate from the inside out. The building is too small for modern fire trucks, does not have adequate storage areas and lacks facilities to house firefighters during severe inclement weather.
- CPI Foundation Inc., was approved for a $7.7 million loan to begin the process of constructing a health and science facility on the campus of the Central Pennsylvania Institute of Science and Technology in Centre County. This facility is needed to address the growing demand for skilled health technicians and will expand the applicant's health care program offerings for post-secondary students.
- Fayette County received a loan of $51 million to begin construction on a prison. The facility will be located at 254 McClellandtown Road in Uniontown. The prison is needed because the existing facility has safety compliance issues. Since the current facility is 131 years old, it is no longer feasible to retrofit in order to accommodate the current prison population.
- Another project will replace the roof of Girardville Borough's city hall located in Schuylkill County. USDA Rural Development delivered a loan to the borough of $49,500. The building's roof needs to be replaced due to significant deterioration. The improvements are needed to sustain the structure and life cycle of the municipal building. Funds will also be used to replace a 15-year-old backhoe that is too costly to repair and maintain.
- The Mahanoy City Borough in Schuylkill County will use their loan of $47,500 to purchase and upfit a new patrol vehicle and dump truck. The borough's police department currently only has four vehicles and one of the vehicles is at the end of its useful life. The patrol vehicle will allow the department to provide a more reliable service. The streets department needs the new dump truck because aging vehicles in its current fleet are becoming too costly to maintain.
- The Lansford Borough in Carbon County will use the combination of a $27,000 loan and $15,600 grant to purchase and upfit a patrol vehicle. The vehicle is needed because the borough's police department only has three vehicles, which limits its ability to provide service to the community that has experienced a very high volume of arrests and warrants. It will also allow the borough to have more officers to patrol at the same time.
- East Union Township in Schuylkill County received a $40,700 loan and $7,600 grant to purchase and upfit a patrol interceptor for its law enforcement department. The new vehicle is needed because the township currently owns only two vehicles, and one of them is at the end of its useful life and is too costly to maintain. The vehicle will allow the department to provide more reliable service to the community and a safer work environment for the officers.
- The Town of Bloomsburg in Columbia County was awarded a $1.4 million loan and $601,300 grant to purchase a dump truck and skid steer for the public works department, a fire truck for the fire department, a vehicle for the codes department and radio equipment and five cruisers for the law enforcement department. All the equipment is needed for the community because the current equipment is either nearing the end of its useful life or the town does not currently own the equipment.
- The Innes Hose Company in Bradford County will use a combination of a $237,000 loan and $289,000 grant to purchase a Spartan fire truck and Chevy 3500 rescue truck. They currently have a 2005 American LaFrance walk-in rescue with no pump or water. The manufacturer of this apparatus is no longer in business and it is extremely difficult to locate custom built parts. They also currently operate a 1985 Ford F-350 single cab pick-up with a slide in wildland firefighting skid unit. A new combination rescue and pumper would allow for a quicker response time with less manpower. The new truck would be built to meet National Fire Protection Association safety standards. The Brush truck would allow them to access off-road fire and emergencies. The departments contracted include several thousand acres of state forest and game lands that are inaccessible to a full-size apparatus.
These twelve projects show USDA’s continued investment in the rural communities of Pennsylvania, Coccodrilli said.
In addition, Brand announced essential community projects today in Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Indiana, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
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 rural areas with a population of 20,000 or less.
Interested parties should contact their USDA Rural Development state office for information about additional funding, application procedures and eligibility details. Also see the Community Facilities Direct Loan Program Guidance Book for Applicants a detailed overview of the application process.
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.
If you’d like to subscribe to USDA Rural Development updates, visit our GovDelivery subscriber page.
To schedule an interview the State Director Curt Coccodrilli, please contact Daniel Blottenberger at 717-237-2153 or Daniel.Blottenberger@usda.gov.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender.