Federal grant funding available for disaster recovery efforts

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WASHINGTON (CBS19 NEWS) -- Two local rural counties are eligible to get some federal grant funding to continue their recovery efforts from natural disasters such as hurricanes and fires.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Housing Service Administrator Bruce Lammers announced Tuesday the USDA is making $150 million in grants available through the Community Facilities Program.

“When rural American thrives, all of America thrives,” Lammers said. “Under the leadership of President [Donald] Trump and Agriculture Secretary [Sonny] Perdue, USDA stands with the nation's rural communities in their long-term recovery following natural disasters.”

The funding is included in the Additional Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Act that was signed into law on June 6.

According to a release, the grants may be used for relief in areas affected by Hurricanes Michael and Florence, wildfires in 2018, and other natural disasters where the Federal Emergency Management Agency has provided a notice declaring a Major Disaster Declaration and assigned a disaster recovery number.

As of Sept. 8, both Nelson and Fluvanna counties are included among the many localities across the country that are eligible.

The USDA will be accepting grant applications at its state offices on a continual basis until funds are exhausted, with assistance provided on a graduated scale.

The release says smaller communities with the lowest median household income are eligible for a higher portion of the grant funds.

There are more than 100 types of projects are eligible for funding, and eligible applicants include municipalities, public bodies, nonprofits, and federally-recognized Native American tribes. Projects will need to be in eligible rural areas with a population of 20,000 or less.

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