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Communities get federal grants, loans

ACROSS MISSISSIPPI — The U.S. Department of Agriculture has approved a series of grants and low-interest loans to aid rural Mississippi communities.

USDA Rural Development has approved grants totaling $383,017 for small projects in Cleveland, Duncan, Laurel, Marks and Mound Bayou. The agency has also approved two low-interest loans to support a health clinic construction project in Itawamba County and a water storage capacity project in Tippah County.

The grants include:

• $134,872 — City of Laurel, to support the purchase of a new fire truck

• $96,075 — Quitman County School District, Marks, to support the purchase of two new school buses

• $74,100 — Mound Bayou Public School District, Mound Bayou, to support the purchase of a new school bus

• $28,000 — Delta Arts Alliance Inc., Cleveland, to support the renovation of the Ellis Theatre to enhance art education

• $25,000 — Bolivar County, Cleveland, to support the purchase of two sheriff patrol cars and a correctional facility transport van

• $24,170 — Town of Duncan, to support the purchase of a maintenance truck, tractor and bush hog

The low-interest loans, worth a combined $777,260, are:

• $499,000 — Mantachie Rural Health Care Inc., Mantachie, to support the construction of a health care clinic in Itawamba County (40-year Community Facility Direct Loan, 4 percent)

• $278,000 — Three Forks Water Association, Walnut, to support the construction of a 75,000-gallon elevated water tank to provide additional water storage capacity and improve water pressure (40-year Water and Wastewater Disposal Direct Loan, 3.25 percent)

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