HUDSON – The Rebuild Rural America Act, designed to improve the way the federal government supports development projects in small towns and rural communities in order to better fit their specific needs, was announced by US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Congressman Antonio Delgado (D, NY-19).
The two announced while in the City of Hudson that they will introduce the bill.
“Rural communities are at the very heart of New York, and their development is key to helping our state, and our nation, succeed,” said Gillibrand. “These communities face complex challenges that demand comprehensive and long-term solutions, but the current federal grant system is too narrow and inflexible to fully address their needs.”
“This bill gives rural communities the funding, flexibility, and technical assistance to do what they know will best help their towns – including building firehouses, repaving sidewalks, replacing old and failing water systems, and supporting economic development to make sure our upstate communities have what they need to grow and thrive,” said Delgado.
The measure would create a new $50 billion program – the Rural Future Partnership Fund – to provide non-competitive, five-year, renewable block grants to certified rural regions to implement locally-developed regional revitalization plans.
It would encourage rural regions to develop comprehensive, collaborative, and locally-driven community and economic development plans that revitalize infrastructure, provide support for public services and job training, and foster local entrepreneurship.
It would require interested rural regions to form a Regional Rural Partnership Council to bring together all parties important to regional development.
Among other components would be launching a Rural Future Corps in coordination with AmeriCorps to arrest rural communities with implementing Rural Partnership Plans and expanding critical services including childcare, health services, nutrition assistance, education and job training.