By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
USDA reps talk funding in Long County
Representatives from the USDA give a presentation in Ludowici on possible funding opportunities for individuals, businesses, nonprofit groups and government entities. - photo by Photo by Mike Riddle
Representatives from the U.S. Department of Agriculture recently gave a presentation at Ludowici City Hall on possible funding opportunities for the local government and residents. Long County is categorized as one of the USDA’s target areas.  
Presenters outlined several possibilities for individuals and businesses, including home repair grants, rural business enterprise grants, rural business opportunity grants, cooperative grants, renewable energy/efficiency grants, guaranteed business loans, rural economic loans and home purchasing loans.
During the home loan segment of the presentation, USDA area specialists Jeanmarie DeLoach and Amy Caldwell broke down the differences between guaranteed loans, direct loans and grants. Direct loans for mortgages with financing between 33 years and 38 years require no down payment and no private mortgage insurance. Payments are based on homebuyers’ incomes.
DeLoach said the single-family housing program is available in 28 counties in the area, including Long County. The average home loan in Long County is $115,000 and the maximum amount that can be borrowed is $145,000.
In addition to the grant and loan programs, USDA specialist Tommy Hatcher discussed other options local communities may be eligible for, such as water, wastewater and solid waste loan-grant financing, community facility programs, distance learning programs and rural community development grants.
Funding also may be approved for improvement and clean-up projects, animal control, waste-water systems, firefighting equipment, police department equipment and library equipment.
The presentation was organized by Police Chief Richard Robertson, who said he knows firsthand how the USDA assists government organizations. Through the city of Ludowici, his department was able to purchase three new police cars.
Jerome Tucker, who is with Southeast Agricultural Coalition, attended the presentation. “These programs are out there for the people and the local communities and they’re only a phone call away,” he said.
Robertson said, “This was a very valuable presentation, and a lot of good information was put out. I really appreciate them coming here and putting it out.”
Sign up for our e-newsletters