USDA Rural Development Invests in two community facilities in Maine giving them a total of $2.5 million

Funding is part of $243 Million Announcement that Benefits Facilities in 22 States 

USDA Rural Development, on May 16, 2018, announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $243 million in 50 rural community facility projects in 22 states. 

USDA Rural Development State Director Timothy P. Hobbs said, “Investing in community infrastructure is essential to supporting thriving rural Maine communities. Assisting rural schools and municipal infrastructure to deliver quality services helps make rural communities great places to live.”

USDA is making the investments through the Community Facilities Direct Loan Program. The recently passed 2018 Omnibus bill increased the Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 budget for the program to $2.8 billion, up $200 million from FY 2017.

   Two community facilities in Maine have been selected to receive a total of $2.5 million:

  • New England Music Camp Association, in Sidney, has been selected to receive a Community Facility Direct Loan in the amount of $1,846,000. This Rural Development investment will be used to upgrade the infrastructure at the “Bowl in the Pines” amphitheater. A foundation, seating, concessions and bathrooms will be built for the amphitheater. (It was built in 1930 and is slowly sliding into the lake behind it.) Funds also will be used to make the venue accessible to people with disabilities.
  • The Town of Mechanic Falls has been selected to receive a Community Facility Direct Loan in the amount of $724,500. Funds will be used to purchase a building for the town of Mechanic Falls' municipal offices. The offices are currently housed in a 100-year-old high school on the outskirts of town. The building does not meet the community's needs and is inaccessible to people with disabilities. The renovated building will house the town office, police department, town library and a community gathering space.

More than 100 types of projects are eligible for funding, such as schools, health care facilities, libraries and infrastructure improvements. Eligible applicants include municipalities, public bodies, nonprofit organizations and federally and state-recognized Native American tribes in rural areas with a population of 20,000 or less. There is no limit on the size of the loans. Loan amounts have ranged from $10,000 to $165 million. For more information, please contact Robert Nadeau, Community Programs Director at (207) 990-9121 or   

Projects are being announced this May in Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, New York, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia.

USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community services such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. For more information, visit