Acting Deputy Under Secretary Judith Canales traveled to Texas recently to announce a much needed change to the USDA Rural Development water and wastewater funding process. Canales met with community members and local leaders in the City of Peñitas water treatment plant during her visit, and also spoke before members of the National Association for Latino Community Asset Builders 2012 Summit, held in McAllen.
The change to the funding process for water and wastewater treatment facilities will assign priority points for projects in colonias. The funding change will help increase investments needed to strengthen these communities and improve the quality of life for their residents, ultimately helping colonias address significant health risks.
The announcement was a terrific follow up to the new “Border Community Capital Initiative” (Border Initiative) MOU between U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the U.S. Department of Agriculture – Rural Development (USDA-RD) and the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund) in June 2012. Read more »
A building that will stand against natural disaster for the safety of the Corn Creek District, Rosebud Indian Reservation, South Dakota, is being partially funded through a grant from USDA Rural Development’s Community Facilities Economic Impact Initiative (EII). While providing a safe haven for the residents, the community building will also provide a space for health care and emergency services and a facility for community youth.
If a community building is going to offer so much in integral services for the area, it should also be energy efficient. The foam forms for the walls will be filled with concrete and will add greatly to the insulation and temperature control of the building. Read more »
For most Americans, advanced health care facilities that can treat almost any kind of ailment are just a short drive away. But picture you or a loved one in your rural community enduring a life-threatening illness or injury, and having to travel hundreds of miles for medical attention. Compounding the issue are the often treacherous travel conditions during the winter months when remote roads are hazardous, and sometimes closed due to weather.
It’s no wonder that the community of Tazlina, Alaska, in the Copper River Valley, welcomed the recent groundbreaking ceremony for the Copper River Native Association’s new health care and administrative facility on a 10 acre site. The project is a joint venture between USDA Rural Development through a Community Facilities direct loan; U.S. Housing and Urban Development and the State of Alaska. This new facility will replace the existing 40-year old scattered site facilities that were originally slated to be decommissioned or demolished in 1985. The land has been provided by Ahtna, Incorporated, A Native regional corporation, on a 99 year lease. Read more »
Recently, representatives of USDA and other federal agencies held a collaboration meeting with the federally recognized tribes of the Bering Straits/Norton Sound Region in Alaska.
The meeting was the second in a series of Tribal Collaboration Meetings scheduled with federally recognized tribes in Alaska. The venue for the dialogue was the beautifully restored Old Saint Joe’s Church Community Center in Nome. Old Saint Joe’s is situated in Nome’s town center and proved to be a perfect site for this historic meeting between federal officials and tribal leaders. Read more »
As rural communities begin to shake off the remnants of a record-breaking winter, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development – along with several sister agencies – held the first of several Alaska Tribal Collaboration meetings in Bethel on Friday, April 13.
In a state home to nearly half of our nation’s federally-recognized tribes, President Obama’s mandate for federal agencies to “engage in regular and meaningful consultation and collaboration” with American Indian and Alaska Native tribes carries with it particular importance.
Fifteen tribal representatives and a handful of their non-profit partners from throughout the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta region, gathered at the Yupiit Piciryarait Cultural Center for a day-long session with representatives from Rural Development; Natural Resource Conservation Service; Farm Service Agency; Housing & Urban Development; Small Business Administration, and the Denali Commission. Read more »
Mention to folks that federal agencies work well together and you may receive reactions of disbelief. Sometimes the federal employees, themselves, don’t believe it. But there was a roomful of believers at a recent USDA Rural Roundtable held in Ogden, Iowa.
Iowa USDA Rural Development State Director Bill Menner (center, seated) and other federal officials, hold a roundtable meeting in Ogden, Iowa.
I held more than 40 roundtables across rural Iowa last year, modeled after the roundtables of the White House Business Council and the White House Rural Council. These roundtables provided a great opportunity to talk with rural residents, business owners and leaders about the issues facing their communities – and the opportunities that exist. Read more »