MONTPELIER, VT. (May 23, 2016)- The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced Monday it has awarded 19 essential community anchor organizations with more than $8 million in direct loan, guaranteed loan and grant funding. Vermont and New Hampshire USDA Rural Development State Director Ted Brady announced the recipients during a ground breaking for an expansion of the Poultney Public Library, which received a $50,000 grant.
“These loans and grants will help towns and non-profit organizations provide essential community services, including emergency medical services, education, and public works,” said Brady. “The investments vary from multi-million dollar modern wood heat systems to a few thousand dollars to help a small library install new insulation. The essential community facilities receiving funding this year will help make rural Vermont a safer, more sustainable and more vibrant place to live and work.”
On Monday, USDA announced that the following organizations will receive $8,465,300 in USDA Community Facilities Loan and Grant funding:
The Town of Brighton: $44,000 grant to purchase a dump truck.
The Town of Charleston: $50,000 grant to install a solar array to power municipal buildings.
College of St. Joseph (Rutland): $170,000 loan to equip the Radiological Sciences Laboratory.
Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium (St. Johnsbury): $50,000 grant to install a solar array.
Goddard College (Plainfield): $2,100,000 loan to construct a central biomass heating system.
The Town of Guildhall: $49,000 grant to renovate Guild Hall, the current town hall.
The Town of Hancock: $40,700 grant to renovate the town hall for use as a community center.
John G. McCullough Free Library (North Bennington): $2,600 grant to insulate the library.
Lyndon Rescue: $58,400 loan and $31,000 grant to purchase an ambulance.
The Town of Lyndon: $13,750 grant to purchase a generator for the municipal garage and $16,550 grant to purchase a paint booth to maintain town equipment.
Montessori School of Central Vermont (Barre): $25,000 grant to assist with ADA compliance improvements in new facility.
Paramount Center (Rutland City): A $19,160 Community Facility grant and a $14,140 Strategic Economic and Community Development grant to purchase improved sound technology for the theatre.
The Town of Poultney: $50,000 grant to purchase equipment and furnishings for the Poultney Public Library.
Putney Community Center: $31,000 loan to insulate the Putney Community Center.
The Town of Richford: $33,000 grant to purchase two defibrillators for ambulances.
The Strolling of the Heifers (Brattleboro): A $4,800 Strategic Economic and Community Development grant and a $12,200 Economic Impact Initiative grant to outfit a training kitchen.
Troy School District: $50,000 grant for building and facility improvements to the Troy School.
Awakening Sanctuary (Montpelier): $2,800,000 guaranteed loan to make facility improvements.
Visiting Nurse Association and Hospice of Vermont and New Hampshire (Hartford): $2,800,000 loan to purchase new office space.
Brady was in Poultney Monday to help the town celebrate the ground breaking of their library expansion. The $50,000 grant announced Monday will match $249,181 raised by the library through additional grants, including a Vermont Arts Council grant, and contributions from local organizations such as the Poultney Rotary Club and Modern Woodsman. Poultney Public Library Director Rebecca Cook said that growing community demand for the library’s programing had outgrown the existing library’s capacity, making the expansion necessary. The expansion will nearly double the library’s size and allow for increased programing for community members, both young and old.
Brady noted that Vermont’s Congressional Delegation supported a significant increase in federal dollars for the USDA Community Facilities Loan and Grant Program in the federal appropriations process last year, increasing the number of Vermont organizations able to access the program this year.
“These grants and loans are critical to our rural communities, which may not otherwise be able to fund projects that are so vital to their residents,” said U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.). “In Poultney, the public library will undergo a much-needed expansion that will include new space dedicated for teenagers. In Richford, ambulances will be equipped with the latest in life-saving technology, while Brighton will be able to purchase a much-needed dump truck. These are just a few examples of how this program meets community needs. I commend USDA Rural Development and all of the partners involved, and I pledge to do all that I can in Washington to ensure continued support for these efforts.”
“So far this year, the USDA Rural Development Community Facilities Loan and Grant program has awarded $8 million to strengthen rural communities throughout Vermont by helping improve assisted living facilities, libraries, schools and other public facilities,” said U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.). “At a time when many families throughout Vermont struggle to make ends meet, these loans and grants provide an economic stimulus to local economies and help improve the quality of life for Vermonters.”
USDA, through its RD mission area, administers and manages housing, business and community infrastructure programs through a national network of state and local offices. Rural Development has an active portfolio of $214 billion in loans and loan guarantees. These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural areas. For more information on Rural Development visit the Vermont Rural Development website at www.rd.usda.gov/vt or contact USDA RD at (802) 828-6000.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.