USDA Rural Development State Director Terry Brunner helped celebrate the purchase of new emergency equipment in Hatch and Truth or Consequences Thursday. The financing for the three vehicles was made by his agency trough the Community Facility (CF) program.
"The funding of these two projects will provide better emergency services to residents of T or C and Hatch,” said Brunner.
He added, “The Obama Administration has worked hard to fund projects to provide ‘a peace of mind’ to rural residents that may lack access to critical services. If an emergency arises residents of T or C and Hatch can sleep a little better tonight knowing their emergency services just got better.”
The Village of Hatch is receiving $90,178 to purchase a new 2013 F550 super duty 4x4 crew cab diesel frame vehicle which is modified to be a rapid response fire truck. The vehicle will be equipped with a compressed air foam system, which has proven to be more efficient at extinguishing fires than water. This vehicle will replace a 1995 limited duty pick up which the expenses to keep the truck running exceed the vehicle’s value.
Sierra Vista Hospital is receiving a grant totaling $112,922 to purchase two new ambulances. The first is a 4x4 ambulance for response to the remote, road-challenged areas of Sierra County. The ambulance will also be used for more routine calls and transfers. At present Sierra Vista Hospital does not have a 4x4 vehicle and has difficulty reaching patients in bad weather and snow. The second ambulance will be "response ready" and will be furnished with the most modern emergency equipment including; an on-board oxygen system, a gurney, radio equipment, and other supplies. The vehicle will replace a 1996 ambulance, which has over 242,000 miles of service. The current fleet of 4 ambulances has significant mechanical problems that seriously compromise patient safety during transport.
The CF program provides loans and grants to assist in the development of essential community facilities in rural areas and towns of up to 20,000 in population. Grants are authorized on a graduated scale. Applicants located in small communities with low populations and low incomes will receive a higher percentage of grants.
Grants are available to public entities such as municipalities, counties, and special-purpose districts, as well as non-profit corporations and tribal governments.
In addition, applicants must have the legal authority necessary for construction, operation, and maintenance of the proposed facility and also be unable to obtain needed funds from commercial sources at reasonable rates and terms.
In recent years this program has been used to provide funds to purchase police cars in Estancia, build a fire station in Angel Fire, upgrade libraries in Anton Chico and Bayard and build the new hospital and dental clinic in Santa Rosa.
USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, has a portfolio of programs designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America. USDA has made a concerted effort to deliver results for the American people, even as the Department implements sequestration – the across-the-board budget reductions mandated under terms of the Budget Control Act.
USDA has already undertaken historic efforts since 2009 to save more than $828 million in taxpayer funds through targeted, common-sense budget reductions. These reductions have put USDA in a better position to carry out its mission, while implementing sequester budget reductions in a fair manner that causes as little disruption as possible.