The U.S. Department of Agriculture is investing $68 million to build or improve community facilities and essential services for nearly 715,000 rural residents in 13 states and Puerto Rico.
On the island, five proposals were selected for a total investment of $5.4 million, said USDA Rural Development State Director for Puerto Rico, Josué E. Rivera.
“We’re very hopeful that these capital investments will benefit entities and local governments in the municipalities of Arroyo, Añasco, Barceloneta and Las Marías, which result in better access to education, services to citizens, art & culture, as well as new tools and infrastructure to continue transforming the quality of life in our rural communities,” he said.
The following projects were approved:
- Plenitud Iniciativas Ecoeducativas Inc., is a nonprofit organization in the municipality of Las Marías will receive a $25,100 loan and $50,000 grant for the acquisition of essential equipment and a vehicle.
- The town of Barceloneta will receive a loan of $564,450 for the rehabilitation of an existing municipal government center building and $403,785 for the rehabilitation of an existing municipal theater.
- The town of Arroyo will receive a loan of $371,860 to acquire solid waste disposal vehicle and essential equipment.
- MAS Integrated School Masis a nonprofit school in the municipality of Añasco will receive $4,049,098 loan for the construction of a bilingual school to provide the needed space requires to expand its educational services.
More than 100 types of projects are eligible for Community Facilities funding. Eligible applicants include municipalities, Public bodies, nonprofit organizations. Applicants and projects must be in rural areas with a population of 20,000 or less.
USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing, community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas.