On March 23, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced an investment of $226 million to improve rural community facilities and essential services. USDA is investing in 41 projects through the Community Facilities Direct Loan and Grant Program to fund a variety of essential community services, including emergency response vehicles and equipment. Interested parties should contact their USDA Rural Development state office for information about additional funding, application procedures and eligibility details. Also see the Community Facilities Direct Loan Program Guidance Book for Applicants (PDF, 669 KB) for a detailed overview of the application process. You can find the USDA press release here.