In a new post for The Rural Blog, writer Heather Chapman outlines the billions of federal dollars heading towards rural America. With infrastructure updates and tribal assistance big ticket items, rural areas around the country are in store for some big changes.

From the post: “$65 billion to expand broadband to under-served communities, including rural areas, including $14 billion for subsidizing internet bills for the poor, and $2 billion for the Agriculture Department‘s Reconnect Loan and Grant Program for rural areas.

$65 billion to update power lines and cables and invest upgrades to protect utilities from cyberattacks. It also has funding for renewable energy development.

At least $55 billion for water infrastructure, including $10 billion to clean up the “forever chemicals” per- and polyfluoroalkyls, and money for drinking water in tribal communities.$47 billion for “resilience,” mainly for cybersecurity upgrades to infrastructure and for addressing droughts, floods, coastal erosion and other extreme-weather issues.

$10 million over five years for the new Rural and Tribal Assistance Pilot Program through a new Build America Bureau. “The program would provide financial, technical and legal assistance; assistance with development-phase activities; and information on innovative financing practices to rural and Tribal communities. It would sunset after five years,” NACo reports.

$2 billion over five years to fund the newly established Rural Surface Transportation Grant program for road and bridge projects. Under the new program, counties can apply directly to the Transportation Department for projects. The federal government will cover 80% of the costs for approved projects.The Digital Equality Act of 2021, which prioritizes federal broadband funding for rural and other underserved communities.”

To read the rest of the post from The Rural Blog, click here.

To see an in-depth breakdown of the money from the new bill from the National Association of Counties, click here.

SOURCE: The Rural Blog