Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the selection of $58.1 million in community facilities projects that are being funded immediately with federal funds provided through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act that President Obama signed into law in February. Altogether, USDA has announced nearly $179.6 million in Recovery Act funding for community facility projects to date.



"Rural communities are important to the lifeblood of our country and the Obama Administration is committed to keeping them strong by providing Recovery Act funding for facilities such as day care centers, public buildings and community centers that improve the quality of life in these communities," Vilsack said.



In addition to the $58.1 million that USDA Rural Development is providing to fund the 104 projects announced today, recipients will invest $41.2 million from other sources.



For example, Rural Development is providing a $9.4 million loan to Guadalupe County Hospital to replace an outdated facility in Santa Rosa, N.M., with a new 10-bed acute care hospital and medical clinic. The new facility will serve Guadalupe County, a federally designated health professional shortage area, as well as several small villages and surrounding communities. In addition, Guadalupe County Hospital is the only emergency care facility along Interstate 40 between Albuquerque, N.M. to Amarillo, Texas, a distance of 275 miles.



In Whitehall, Mont., Rural Development is providing a $450,000 loan and a $14,000 grant to Liberty Place, Inc., a non-profit corporation that conducts brain injury rehabilitation. The funding will be used to purchase a facility and expand the brain injury care program. Liberty Place Inc. creates structured programs to enable people severely disabled by a brain injury to live in a home-based setting. Currently there are 10 people on the Montana Department of Health and Human Services waiting list for the brain injury program.



The funding announced today is being provided through USDA Rural Development's Community Facilities program, which helps finance essential community facilities for public use in rural areas. These facilities include child care centers, hospitals, medical clinics, assisted-living facilities, fire and rescue stations, police stations, community centers, public buildings and transportation. Through this program, USDA ensures that such facilities are available to all rural residents. Public bodies, non-profit organizations and recognized Indian tribes are eligible to apply for funding.



More information about USDA's Recovery Act efforts is available at www.usda.gov/recovery. More information about the Federal government's efforts on the Recovery Act is available at www.recovery.gov.