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USDA to Help Keystone Communities Affected by Natural Disasters
Pennsylvania Ag Connection - 09/11/2019

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Housing Service Administrator Bruce Lammers Tuesday announced that USDA is making $150 million in grants available through the Community Facilities Program to help rural communities continue their recovery from the devastating effects of hurricanes, fires and other natural disasters.

"When rural America thrives, all of America thrives," Lammers said. "Under the leadership of President Trump and Agriculture Secretary Perdue, USDA stands with the Nation's rural communities in their long-term recovery following natural disasters."

The $150 million is included in the Additional Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Act that President Trump signed into law on June 6, 2019. The grants may be used for relief in areas affected by Hurricanes Michael and Florence; wildfires in 2018; and other natural disasters where the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has provided a notice declaring a Major Disaster Declaration and assigned a FEMA disaster recovery (DR) number. View the list of designated communities as of Sept. 8. Please check the FEMA website for regular updates and names of additional communities that may be added.

"A natural disaster is traumatic and USDA Rural Development is here to help communities recover and prosper," said USDA State Director Curt Coccodrilli.

Communities in Bradford, Columbia, Lackawanna, Lycoming, Montour, Northampton, Schuylkill, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Tioga, and Wyoming counties are eligible for this assistance.

Grant applications will be accepted at USDA state offices on a continual basis until funds are exhausted. Grant assistance will be provided on a graduated scale; smaller communities with the lowest median household income are eligible for a higher proportion of grant funds. For application details and additional information, see page 47477 of the Sept. 10 Federal Register.

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 eligible rural areas with a population of 20,000 or less.

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