The Arizona Community Foundation (ACF) and the US Department of Agriculture for Rural Development (USDA RD) have formed a public-private partnership in support of rural Arizona. ACF will provide $ 5 million on a below-market revolving line of funding to provide rural communities with access to USDA funding of approximately $ 40 million per year for infrastructure projects that include water systems, schools, affordable housing, fire houses, Improve parks and related needs.
Much like ACF's highly recognized pre-developed residential loan fund, the Rural Development Investment Fund will provide short term low-interest finance for infrastructure projects that USDA RD has committed to finance. These loans are offered for 12 to 18 months to cover upfront development costs that are difficult for small communities to finance. Funding covers the cost of planning, site testing, architectural renderings, engineering, legal preparation, and other work required to get projects off the ground. Once the planning is complete, projects can be fully funded by the USDA. Some are paid millions of dollars to improve community infrastructure.
"This partnership is a great example of what can be done when public and philanthropic agencies work together to solve big problems and improve the quality of life in rural communities and cities that are often overlooked by big donors," said Jack Smith. USDA RD Arizona State Director. “Neither the Arizona Community Foundation nor the USDA were able to get these projects off the ground alone. By working together and using our individual skills, we can now solve problems that have required attention for many years. "
"This partnership reflects the best in government and philanthropy," said Steve Seleznow, president and CEO of ACF. “This is a win for rural communities in dire need of infrastructure improvements. Over many years, this program has the potential to unleash hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funding that will greatly improve life in rural Arizona. "
The first loan of USD 400,000 has already been made to the Bouse Water District. Bouse, a community of just over 1,000 residents in La Paz county in western Arizona, will upgrade and expand its water system to meet standards of the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality. These changes will also take into account the growth the area has seen over time. The work to be done includes replacing the undersized water pipes and upgrading the system with the installation of drive-by meters. The new build will also include an arsenic treatment system, operations building, new well and 70,000 gallon water storage tank.
"This is great news for rural Arizona," said Smith. “Ensuring access to clean water and functional wastewater treatment is necessary for the health and well-being of our rural communities and contributes to economic growth. When rural Arizona thrives, everything in Arizona thrives. Our partnership with the Arizona Community Foundation is an enhanced service for our rural customers who need a financial bridge to bring projects into development. "
Established in 1978, the Arizona Community Foundation is a statewide family of charity funded by thousands of Arizona citizens. With five regional community offices across Arizona, ACF is one of the 25 largest community foundations in the country, with more than $ 1 billion in trust and foundation assets, and is recognized by the National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations certified. Since inception, ACF and its affiliates have provided more than $ 850 million in grants, grants, and loans to nonprofits, schools, and government agencies. Please visit azfoundation.org for more information.
USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas. Further information is available at rd.usda.gov/az.