USDA awards $14M in funds to 21 island projects in ’15
The U.S. Department of Agriculture awarded just over $14 million to fund 21 projects in Puerto Rico during the 2015 fiscal year, a record figure that went toward modernizing infrastructure, providing essential services and improving access to health care, José Otero-García, Rural Development State Director for Puerto Rico, said.
The funding list included loans to: Hogar Lucero del Alba, Inc. for an Elderly Care Center in Toa Alta ($1.9 million); Colegio de Aprendizaje y Desarrollo Educativo Integrado Inc. to build a school in Moca ($2.9 million); the Municipality of Utuado, for a rural health care center ($1.5 million); the Municipality of San Sebastián for a Community & Fine Arts Center ($1.5 million); and, $148,210 to the Municipality of Comerío to expand the municipal cemetery.
“I am especially proud of the role that USDA played in 2015 to ensure that rural residents have access to affordable, high-quality health care,” U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said Thursday.
“The 2015 fiscal year, which ended Sept. 30, was a banner year for USDA’s Community Facilities Program,” he said. “We provided a record amount of support for services such as child care, schools, libraries, health care and other types of infrastructure that rural residents and businesses need.”
Vilsack’s announcement comes as the USDA and a coalition of private, federal, state and local partners celebrate National Rural Health Week to bring attention to the unique health care needs of rural communities.