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Biden-Harris Administration Announces Major Investments Toward Rural Communities, Infrastructure

Source: USDA Press Release

Late last month, White House Domestic Policy Advisor Neera Tanden and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced the Investing in Rural America Regional Event Series, which will bring over $770 million in investments toward rural infrastructure projects. 

As part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, 216 projects in 45 states, Puerto Rico, and the Northern Mariana Islands, will receive funding from the USDA to bring high-speed internet, clean, safe water, and economic growth to rural communities.

According to a Biden-Harris Administration press release, the investments include: 

  • $76.6 million for projects in underserved communities participating in the Rural Partners Network (RPN), which puts federal employees on the ground to help rural communities access federal resources. This investment will support 32 projects, including a project in Tarboro, that will expand access to jobs, business opportunities, quality health care, clean water and renewable energy.

According to the USDA, Northampton County will use a $5 million Community Facilities Grant through RPN to build a 15,000-square-foot addition to the courthouse to provide critical services to residents and businesses. The new facility will house offices for the county manager, taxes, register of deeds, finance, human resources and information technology.

  • $51.7 million to expand access to affordable high-speed internet for people in rural areas through the Reconnect Program and the Broadband Technical Assistance Program. USDA will begin accepting applications on March 22, for its fifth round of funding for the ReConnect Program.

For North Carolina, HarvestBeam Inc. is receiving a $199,000 award to expand affordable high-speed internet in 13 communities across Pitt, Lenoir, Craven, Greene, Beaufort, Washington, and Jones counties.

  • $644.2 million to help 158 rural cooperatives and utilities provide clean drinking water and sanitary wastewater systems for 578,000 people in rural communities. 

According to the White House, over one million people living in rural communities will benefit from this funding. 

“President Biden’s Investing in America agenda is transforming our country for the better – reaching communities in every corner of the United States, including those that have too often been left behind,” stated Secretary Vilsack. 

“The investments I’m announcing today will help us build our economy from the middle out and bottom-up by bringing high-speed internet, clean water, modern infrastructure and good-paying jobs to communities in rural areas, in turn making it more possible for young people to build a good life in the communities they love, and for more Americans to find new opportunity in rural communities.”

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