Rural Anderson County fire departments receive USDA funding for facility, gear

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A pair of Anderson County Volunteer Fire Department units are getting funding thanks to a U.S. Department of Agriculture program.

The Briceville and Medford units were awarded grants and loans through the Community Facilities Direct Loan Program. The program is investing nearly $12 million in 41 community projects that will benefit 214,000 American in rural areas according to a news release from the USDA.

 “The improvement of public facilities in Tennessee’s rural communities is vital to the mission of USDA,” Rural Development State Director Jim Tracy said. “Investments in our rural areas provide a foundation for growth and prosperity that strengthens the overall economy.”

The Briceville Unit will receive a $74,200 loan and $80,700 grant to build a new fire station that will replace a substandard building.

The Medford Unit will receive a $25,700 loan and $31,300 grant to purchase air packs with personal alert safety system alarms. The department is currently using air packs that are 10 years old.

The 41 projects are in Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia and Washington.

More than 100 types of projects are eligible for Community Facilities program funding. Eligible applicants include municipalities, public bodies, nonprofit organizations and federally recognized Native American tribes. Projects must be in rural areas with a population of 20,000 or less.

USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to support infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov/tn.

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