Blog for Rural America

The Center for Rural Affairs, a private, non-profit organization, is working to strengthen small businesses, family farms and ranches, and rural communities. Permission to reprint items from this web log is hereby granted, on the condition that clear credit is given to the original source of the material. If the blog provides information for a story, please let us know by sending an email to johnc@cfra.org.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Washington Post - Rural Aid Goes to Urban Areas


Rural Aid Goes to Urban Areas

USDA Rural Development Program Helps Suburbs, Resort Cities

By Gilbert M. Gaul and Sarah Cohen
Washington Post Staff Writers
Friday, April 6, 2007; A01

PROVINCETOWN, Mass. -- In a few weeks, artists, lawyers and bankers will begin arriving here for the busy summer season on high-speed ferries that take 90 minutes to make the trip from Boston. They will land at a recently refurbished municipal dock that was built with the help of a $1.95 million low-interest loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

A few blocks away, the Provincetown Art Association and Museum has used nearly $3 million in grants and loans from the Agriculture Department to add gallery space and renovate a historic sea captain's house. A short drive back down the Cape, the department is financing a new actors theater in Wellfleet and recently awarded a grant to a garden center in Hyannis to build a windmill.

Although Cape Cod is only a short trip from Boston and Providence, R.I., and is home to some of the wealthiest beach towns in the United States, to the Agriculture Department it meets the definition of rural America. That means it qualifies for aid originally intended for farmland and backwoods areas that were isolated and poor, struggling to keep their heads above water.

"Provincetown is many things to many people, and to USDA we're rural," said Keith A. Bergman, the town manager. "We'll take it."

He isn't alone.

On Martha's Vineyard, the USDA guaranteed a $4.5 million loan for the popular Black Dog Tavern. The loan, which has since been repaid, was to refinance the tavern's mortgage and expand Black Dog's retail clothing stores. On Nantucket, where the population swells to the size of a small city in summer months, the Agriculture Department provides rental subsidies for families priced out of the local market.

All told, the USDA has handed out more than $70 billion in grants, loans and loan guarantees since 2001 as part of its sprawling but little-known Rural Development program. More than half of that money has gone to metropolitan regions or communities within easy commuting distance of a midsize city, including beach resorts and suburban developments, a Washington Post investigation found... read the full Washington Post article online at - www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/04/05/AR2007040501895.html?referrer=emailarticle.

... editor's note... remember, we will be finishing the transition of the Blog for Rural America to the Center for Rural Affairs redesigned website next week. Look for the Blog for Rural America at www.cfra.org from now on. Thank you, john

Post a comment here or contact John Crabtree, johnc@cfra.org

Center for Rural Affairs
Values. Worth. Action.

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9 Comments:

  • At 12:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    this sucks, USDA sucks, maybe Congress should just do away with USDA once and for all

     
  • At 8:37 AM, Anonymous Annerose said…

    These comments have been invaluable to me as is this whole site. I thank you for your comment.

     
  • At 8:53 AM, Anonymous Gill said…

    This is clearly due to the politicians. This should be condemned. If the urban areas only keep developing then when will the rural areas develop. I think the Government must take this issue into direct control and prevent such mishap.

     
  • At 1:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

  • At 4:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    If the urban areas only keep developing then when will the rural areas develop. I think the Government must take this issue into direct control and prevent such mishap.

    If the urban areas only keep developing then when will the rural areas develop. I think the Government must take this issue into direct control and prevent such mishap.

     
  • At 4:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Good to know rural areas are getting stupport, just like any areas should get.
    Fuel | Energy

     
  • At 7:55 AM, Anonymous Winstrol said…

    Always when the question is about Some payments in the USA we hear about huge money amounts!

     
  • At 1:17 AM, Anonymous Apcalis Oral Jelly said…

    Oh my!!! You are just too true to be good. How do you manage to write and research on such wonderful things? You have inspired me to work harder now. I shall try as much as possible to enjoy life to the fullest and be satiated with the wonderful things that are around me, which I have been unaware of until now.

     
  • At 6:56 PM, Anonymous Alprazolam said…

    Cool stuff here!

     

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