Regional Airport to Benefit from USDA Funds

NASHVILLE (August 24) – The Trump Administration announced last week the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $46 million to improve critical community facilities to benefit 363,000 rural residents in 16 states. Tennessee Rural Development State Director Jim Tracy was pleased to announce an investment in west Tennessee.

“We are excited to partner with Obion County and the construction of an airplane hangar,” Tracy said. “Rural communities can, in a more affordable way, meet the needs of their community by ensuring the safety and enrichment of its citizens with this program.”

I appreciate both President Trump and USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue for their strong commitment to our nation’s rural communities. This funding will not only help West Tennessee’s agriculture community, but it will also help streamline airport traffic,” said U.S. 9th District Congressman David Kustoff.

USDA is funding 44 projects through the Community Facilities Direct Loan and Grant Program. The investments can be used to build or upgrade schools, libraries, clinics and public safety facilities. In Tennessee, Obion County will use a $500,000 loan and $87,200 grant to construct a 100 x 100 airplane hangar with adjacent staging area at the south end of the existing airport site. The new hangars will provide much-needed private space for crop dusters, so they are not disrupted by the other commercial traffic. During the crop duster’s busiest seasons, they take off and land numerous times in a single day, making coordination around other airport traffic an issue.

The hangar will also generate revenue for the airport as the space will be leased for storage for the crop dusters. The airport is short on hangar space and is forced to deny hangar storage requests as they are currently at maximum capacity.

Brand-announced projects also announced last week were in Colorado, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, North Carolina, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin.

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

Interested parties should contact their USDA Rural Development state office for information about additional funding, application procedures and eligibility details. 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. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov/tn.

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