USDA to Provide $150 Million to Help Rural Communities

U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development Nebraska State Director Karl Elmshaeuser announced that USDA is making $150 million in grants available through the Community Facilities Program to help rural communities continue their recovery from the devastating effects of natural disasters.

“With the communities deeply impacted here in the Nebraska flooding, this comes as great relief,” Elmshaeuser said. “USDA works hard to help small rural communities thrive and this funding supports in their long-term recovery.”

The $150 million is included in the Additional Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Act that President Trump signed into law on June 6.

Nebraska declared counties are: Adams, Antelope, Banner, Blaine Boone, Box Butte, Boyd, Brown, Buffalo, Burt, Butler, Cass, Cedar, Cherry, Cheyenne, Clay, Colfax, Cuming, Custer, Dakota, Dawes, Dawson, Deuel, Dixon, Dodge, Douglas, Fillmore, Franklin, Frontier, Furnas, Gage, Garden, Garfield, Gosper, Greeley, Hall, Hamilton, Harlan, Holt, Howard, Jefferson, Johnson, Kearney, Keith, Keya Paha, Kimball, Knox, Lancaster, Lincoln, Logan, Loup, Madison, Merrick, Morrill, Nance, Nemaha, Nuckolls, Omaha Indian Reservation, Otoe, Pawnee, Phelps, Pierce, Platte, Polk, Ponca TDSA, Richardson, Rock, Sac and Fox Indian Reservation, Saline, Santee Indian Reservation, Sarpy, Saunders, Scotts Bluff, Seward, Sheridan, Sherman, Stanton, Thayer, Thomas, Thurston, Valley, Washington, Wayne, Webster, Wheeler, Winnebago Indian Reservation and York.

Grant applications will be accepted at USDA state offices on a continual basis until funds are exhausted. Grant assistance will be provided on a graduated scale; smaller communities with the lowest median household income are eligible for a higher proportion of grant funds.

Senator Deb Fischer released a statement on the funds, noting the grants provide an important opportunity for recovery.

“Many rural communities in Nebraska have a long way to go on the road to recovery following this year’s extreme flooding. Because we fought to include Nebraska in disaster relief legislation earlier this year, our state is eligible for this Community Facilities Program and several others. I encourage our rural communities to look into this program and apply for assistance. This is another important step to advance Nebraska’s full recovery,” said Fischer.