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HILLSVILLE — County officials have proclaimed Aug. 6 as USDA-Rural Development Celebration Day, to thank the federal agency for providing millions of dollars to help pay for water and sewer systems in Carroll.
The federal agency under the U.S. Department of Agriculture has provided much of the funding to pay for water and sewer projects at the Interstate 77 interchanges in Carroll and along U.S. 58 in Woodlawn, which county officials see as a precursor to greater economic development opportunities.
For that reason, the Carroll supervisors decided at their regular July meeting to hold a celebration in August at the Southwest Virginia Farmers Market.
"Carroll County has been the recipient of tens of millions of dollars in grants and loans for numerous projects in Carroll County…" the proclamation said. "The direct investments are being used to [enable] Carroll County to move forward on many fronts including infrastructure development, safety of citizens and property and creating physical environments for educational attainment and workforce development."
A letter issued by the county administrator's office July 19 put the total funding coming through the federal agency to Carroll even higher.
"In the last 10 years, Carroll County has taken advantage of over $100 million in funding through Rural Development," it said.
Carroll officials appreciate the funding efforts made under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which made available funds to Rural Development that are being invested in the county, the proclamation said.
The supervisors approved the proclamation without discussion.
County Administrator Gary Larrowe provided some details about the celebration during the July 12 Public Service Authority meeting.
County officials totaled up the money that has flowed to Carroll from the federal agency, and noticed that a majority of those funds has come to the county in just the last few years, Larrowe noted.
"Through low-cost loans and/or grants, Rural Development and Carroll have funded water and sewer projects, emergency vehicles, school business and new construction and renovations of facilities," the letter said. "The funding of many of these items would not have been possible without the assistance of Rural Development.
"These projects have allowed Carroll to expand water and sewer infrastructure to serve our citizens and attract potential economic development."
Several hundred invitations have been sent out, including to federal officials, such as 9th District Rep. Rick Boucher, the county administrator said.
Funds sought from Rural Development hasn't been limited to just water and sewer efforts. County officials briefly mentioned federal grants being sought now to improve the cannery and library facilities.
And federal government money recently went into a capital project at the farmers' market, Larrowe said, "of which even the paved parking lot was paid for by Rural Development."
The list of projects goes on and on.
Mark your calendars, Larrowe advised. There will be entertainment, speakers and watermelon.
"Carroll County will end up being the center of press [attention] nationwide regarding Rural Development," he said. "That's part of our opportunity…"
For one, a film crew will be visiting from Washington D.C.
He thought the county officials would be proud of all the work being done to make that a very special day.
The appreciation day for the federal agency comes at a time when Carroll still awaits word on several outstanding federal funding applications, including the two remaining school renovation projects and improvements to the county cannery and the library.