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Congressman Joe Courtney

Representing the 2nd District of Connecticut

Courtney and Osten Announce Two USDA Rural Development Grants for Sprague Public Building Improvements

May 7, 2016
Press Release

NORWICH, C.T. —Today, Congressman Joe Courtney (CT-02) and State Senator and Sprague First Selectwoman Cathy Osten announced that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has awarded two Rural Development grants to Sprague public building improvements. The first of the two grants will provide $3,912 to purchase and install a new entry door and windows for the senior center portion of Town Hall to meet code and energy efficiency standards. The second grant for $13,650 will be to purchase a new boiler system for the Sayles Elementary school, which also doubles as a safety shelter for local residents during catastrophic weather events.

“Targeted federal grants like these Rural Development funds from the USDA go a long way toward helping small communities like Sprague make improvements for local residents,” said Courtney. “These two grants will help the town of Sprague save a significant amount of money on their annual energy bills, as well as provide safety and shelter to local residents during severe winter weather. Earlier this year, I held a seminar series for town leaders from across eastern Connecticut to help them learn more about how the Rural Development program works, and how to obtain this type of funding. Too often, rural communities do not have access to the credit required to launch long-term projects like upgrades to bridges, schools, or municipal complexes, and the loans and grants provided through Rural Development ensure our small towns do not get left behind. I want to thank First Selectwoman Osten for everything she does to support the people of Sprague, and her efforts in helping to obtain these grants today.”

Cathy Osten, State Senator and Sprague First Selectman, said: “The Town of Sprague is pleased to receive the Rural Development grants from USDA that will allow us to make public improvements that we otherwise did not have the money or resources to complete. This grant funding will allow us to replace 40-year old windows on the senior center portion of the Town Hall, and provide good and efficient heat to the school. We are excited to get these projects underway.”

In 2015, the USDA Rural Development program supported $38.6 million in loans and $5.2 million in grants to cities and towns across the Second Congressional District.

Courtney hosted two seminars for local selectman, fire chiefs, nonprofits and other community leaders on the USDA-Rural Development Direct Loan & Grant Programs. The first seminar was held in Putnam, a town that has had success with obtaining funding for new projects through the Rural Development program, such as funding to build a new sewer system, purchase new emergency room equipment at Day Kimball Hospital, and build a new fire house in the East Putnam Fire District. The second seminar was hosted the following day in Colchester. More than 40 local leaders representing 18 towns from across the District participated in the two-day series.