The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Community Facilities Direct Loans and Grants program has awarded two loans and two grants totaling $422,000 to two communities in Southwest Ohio — including Blanchester, U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) announced Wednesday.
The award funding includes a $64,000 loan and $50,000 grant to the Village of Blanchester to purchase two new vehicles for the Blanchester Police Department.
Blanchester Police Chief Robert Houghton told the News Journal he was happy to see them get the grant and loan. Houghton believes this is a step in the right direction for them.
“It’s going help us modernize our fleet and replace our older cars,” said Houghton.
The department plans on auctioning off the older ones once the new cars arrive. There’s no date set for the cars to be delivered.
“It’s an excellent opportunity for the village. Everyone has worked hard for this assistance,” he said.
The funding also includes a $262,000 loan and $46,000 grant to Franklin Township in Clermont County to purchase a backhoe, excavator, and dump truck for necessary repairs and maintenance of the roads as well as a weather siren.
“Small businesses and communities face unique challenges and this federal funding will make the investments local businesses need, bolster economic growth, and support public safety,” said Sen. Brown. “We must ensure that communities in Southwest Ohio have the resources they need to create jobs and improve the lives of their residents. My office and I will continue working with community partners to ensure Southwest Ohio gets its fair share of support and investment.”
USDA’s Community Facilities Direct Loan and Grant program offers loan guarantees to lenders for their loans to rural businesses.
The program improves the economic health of rural communities by increasing access to business capital through loan guarantees. The Business and Industry Guaranteed Loan Program is designed to assist rural businesses obtain credit with the intent of saving and creating jobs in rural America.