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Groundbreaking for a new $4.6 million public works campus in Sturgis was attended by USDA Assistant to the Secretary Anne Hazlett, Tim Potts, USDA Rural Development Community Program Director for the State of South Dakota (left)  and Rick Bush, Sturgis Pu
Gary Matthews
Groundbreaking for a new $4.6 million public works campus in Sturgis was attended by USDA Assistant to the Secretary Anne Hazlett, Tim Potts, USDA Rural Development Community Program Director for the State of South Dakota (left) and Rick Bush, Sturgis Pu

Rural community projects highlighted in Sturgis, Box Elder


F.Ganje - June 28, 2018

STURGIS, SD – While traveling to South Dakota for the Western Governor’s Association Conference, Anne Hazlett, Assistant to the Secretary for U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development was also in Box Elder to announce a$7 million infrastructure project and in Sturgis for the ground breaking ceremony of a new public works campus.

The Kansas native spoke of her commitment to create an environment for rural prosperity – from broadband connectivity to workforce training to building infrastructure.

“We are playing a role in helping local leaders to be equipped with the tools they need to  help their communities build prosperity so that they can more resilient,” says Hazlett.

While in South Dakota, Hazlett announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $237 million in 119 rural community service facilities in 29 states.

The community of Sturgis has benefited significantly from USDA Department of Rural Development grants and loans.  Among projects funded by the federal program are emergency services that also includes equipment purchases such as a new fire truck for the City of Sturgis.

“We have a community facilities program that can help address needs such as hospital improvements and expansion, emergency response vehicles or telemedicine programs that can help communities  connect to specialty health care services,” shared Hazlett.

This spring, the city received a $4.6 million federal loan to overhaul its public works infrastructure through the agency’s community facilities program that also provides funding for infrastructure needs.

“This program offers low interest loans as well as some grant dollars to help build infrastructure in communities,” said Hazlett. “It can used for buildings such as we’re seeing in Sturgis. It can also be used for hospitals, schools and equipment – all the things you need to build quality of life in a small town.”

The public works project in Sturgis includes replacing three current public works buildings on Dudley Street in north Sturgis with a 38,000-square-foot main building, made up of two 100-foot by 120-foot maintenance and vehicle storage buildings, connected by administration office space, crew and training spaces, and areas for utility service vehicles. 

Hazlett says there are opportunities through USDA for rural communities to have a brighter future.  More than 100 types of projects are eligible for USDA Community Facilities funding. Eligible applicants include municipalities, public bodies, nonprofit organizations and federally and state-recognized Native American tribes. Applicants and projects must be in rural areas with a population of 20,000 or less. There is no limit on the size of the loans that can range from $10,000 to $165 million.

“We offer resources in the form of direct loans, loan guarantees and grant dollars,” says Hazlett.  “We also have technical assistance available in state offices who work hand-in-hand with community leaders and walk them through the process.”

She continued, "At USDA, we believe in rural America – in communities like Sturgis - and in the promise of small towns and the people who call them home," Hazlett said. "Under Secretary Perdue's leadership, we’re committed to being a strong partner in building healthy, prosperous futures for  communities."

The 2018 Omnibus bill increased the Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 budget for the Community Facilities Direct Loan program to $2.8 billion, up $200 million from FY 2017.



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