USDA Rural Development

Glenwood Springs—With tax revenues expected to decline in the coming years, Garfield County is going to be hard-pressed to fund every program and project that comes along.  Fortunately, there’s help through the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  Sallie Clark is the Colorado State Director of Rural Development for the U.S.D.A.   The former El Paso County Commissioner says the name is somewhat misleading in that it has little to do with agriculture and more with helping small communities thrive economically.  Sadly, she says it’s one of the best kept secrets in rural America. Her office oversees and helps fund more than 45 programs starting with affordable housing.  Clark says low interest, no down payment loans are available through the ag department as well as loans and grants for unexpected home repairs.  The U.S.D.A. also provides loans and grants for business and economic development including money for capital, equipment, space and job training.  The city of Glenwood Springs was recently awarded a $93,000 grant to help fund a valley-wide survey to help guide the formation of an economic master plan.