The U.S. Department of Agriculture has approved a $1.2 million loan to help the municipality of Juana Diaz finance the acquisition of 23 vehicles and heavy equipment to serve the municipality’s 15,600 residents.
This will help the municipality better attend to the health, safety, and security needs of its constituents, USDA Rural Development State Director for Puerto Rico, Josué E. Rivera, said.
The funding is part of a broader appropriation totaling $306 million to build or improve community infrastructure and essential services for 761,000 residents in 19 states and Puerto Rico, Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Anne Hazlett confirmed.
“Modern community facilities and infrastructure are key drivers of rural prosperity,” Hazlett said. “This funding I am announcing demonstrates USDA’s commitment, under the leadership of Secretary Sonny Perdue, to helping ensure that rural areas are attractive places to live, work and raise a family.”
The USDA is investing in 42 projects through the Community Facilities Direct Loan Program. The funding helps rural small towns, cities and communities make infrastructure improvements and provide essential facilities such as schools, libraries, courthouses, public safety facilities, hospitals, colleges and day care centers.
More than 100 types of projects are eligible for Community Facilities program funding. Eligible applicants include municipalities, public bodies, and nonprofit organizations. Applicants and project must be in rural areas with population of 20,000 or less. Loan amounts have ranged from $10,000 to $165 million.