The Paint Rock Volunteer Fire Department is receiving a $39,700 and a $35,300 grant to purchase a newer fire truck and equipment. 

Of their current two trucks, one is a 1980 model with major front-end issues and is only used as a last resort due to safety concerns. 

The fire department is down to four air tanks that are being refilled. The new truck and air tanks are necessary to ensure the safety of the fire fighters as they protect the citizens in the service area.

Paint Rock Volunteer Assistant Fire Chief William Flippo said the new equipment would help the small department save lives.

He said the Paint Rock Volunteer Fire Department only has 12 members, but they work many wrecks on Highway 72 and they go to every call in the area. Flippo was excited for the new equipment and said they had been trying to get new equipment for a while.

“We want the community to be safe,” said Flippo. “Better equipment will give us better opportunities to help people.”

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Donald “DJ” LaVoy today on Sept. 30 that USDA is investing $139 million in 56 projects to improve community facilities and provide essential services for 3.3 million rural residents in 23 states.  Alabama State Director Chris Beeker III announced Alabama will receive over $3.3 Million for 6 projects.

 “This is exciting for Rural Alabama. Fire safety, police protection and improving infrastructure are necessities when it comes to our rural areas prospering,” Beeker said. “Under the leadership of President Trump and Agriculture Secretary Perdue, USDA is committed to being a strong partner in building and modernizing these facilities in rural America, because we believe that when rural America prospers, all of America prospers.”

USDA is making the investments through the Community Facilities Direct Loan Program. 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, a detailed overview of the application process.

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.

The USDA made nine investments to six cities in Alabama that equaled over $3 million. USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas.

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.

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