By Gail Leverson, MBA, EDFP - Funding Specialist March 18, 2021
If your community needs an essential building or piece of equipment, there are grant and loan funds available through the Community Facility Program. This USDA-Rural Development financing tool provides smaller communities with lower median household incomes affordable options.
This program provides loans and grants for essential community facilities in rural areas. An essential community facility is defined as a facility that provides an essential service to the local community for the orderly development of the community in a primarily rural area, and does not include private, commercial, or business undertakings.
Communities with populations of 5,500 or less and a median household income of 80% of the state non-metro rate. Public bodies, community-based non-profits, and federally recognized tribes can apply.
Grants of up to $50,000 and low interest loans with up to 40-year terms are available. Grant amounts and interest rates determined by USDA-Rural Development and the median household income in the area.
For the purchase of essential equipment such as police vehicles, fire trucks, fire equipment, public works equipment, snowplows, distance learning, telemedicine equipment, etc.
NOTE: With current disaster declarations, there is an extra $3 million of grant funding available to about two-thirds of Minnesota counties.
This funding works well for financing government buildings such as town halls, city halls, airport hangars, community centers, libraries, community owned childcare centers, museums, etc. It stretches the debt service out to a longer term so a community with fewer taxpayers can afford more. There are no prepayment penalties. If grants from other resources are available, they can be added to your funding strategy.
Call USDA-Rural Development or myself, Gail Leverson, Widseth’s Funding Specialist, to get started. We will check your income level to determine your community’s eligibility and start the process. Our funding assistance offers consulting help to assemble and submit your funding request.
When your community needs an essential building there is a benefit to working with a full-service design firm such as Widseth. In addition to funding expertise, we offer architectural, engineering, surveying, and environmental services. Your building design and its funding applications will develop simultaneously to save time. We understand the programs, what the eligibility requirements are, and how to access a variety of funding resources for the building you need.