The city of Alpine's forty-year-old commercial-grade mower, dedicated to the maintenance of the Casparis Municipal Airport grounds, was in the shop more frequently than it was being used. The city was only able to budget a small amount of funds to buy a smaller inadequate machine.
To make matters worse, COVID-19 travel restrictions caused the fuel sales, a major source of revenue for the municipal airport, to dramatically decline.
Marci Tuck with the City of Alpine contacted Area Director John Perkins in the Fort Stockton office of USDA Rural Development to see if USDA might be able to assist with the purchase of a new mower. The plan was to obtain a small grant to go along with the funds already budgeted to buy a machine large enough to handle all of the work at the airport. Mr. Perkins recommended that they apply for the Community Facilities program and assisted Ms. Tuck with the application process.
The city of Alpine was able to secure a $22,500 grant from USDA Rural Development to help with the purchase of a utility tractor with rotary cutter and front-end loader. The city provided an applicant contribution of $18,424.
Public bodies, non-profit organizations and Federally Recognized Indian Tribes can use Community Facilities funds to construct, expand or improve facilities that provide health care, education, public safety, and public services. Projects include fire and rescue stations, village and city halls, health care clinics, hospitals, public buildings, schools, libraries, and many other community based initiatives. Grants under the Community Facilities program are normally used for vehicles or equipment, such as fire trucks, ambulances, police vehicles, hospital equipment and other related equipment.