August 4, 2011

USDA Rural Development Helps Fund Storm Warning Siren for Downing

In a Certificate of Recognition ceremony on July 26, 2011, Anita J. (Janie) Dunning, Missouri State Director for USDA Rural Development, announced the award of $12,138 to The Downing Community Fire Association, Inc. Funds were used to purchase an early warning weather siren to protect the 396 citizens of this rural community.

"Ensuring our local police officers and fire fighters are adequately prepared in emergency situations is vital to the well-being of the community. I am thrilled that the Downing Community Fire Association, Inc. will be receiving USDA grant funds to protect its citizens," U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill said.

Congressman Sam Graves said, "We are no strangers to extreme weather in north Missouri. This funding will give a head start to residents when severe weather threatens. I appreciate the USDA Rural Development program for understanding the needs of rural communities."

"This is a great partnership effort when everyone works together for a common goal to provide the citizens of this community with advance warning of threatening weather," said Dunning. "I want to personally thank everyone that has worked together to make this project a reality. I am very pleased that so many rural residents will benefit from this early warning siren. This project mirrors USDA Rural Development's mission if being committed to the future of rural communities."

Dunning added, "Appreciation is also extended to our federal elected officials for supporting the USDA Rural Development programs. They have been strong proponents for necessary funding for essential services to rural Missourians."

The funds are part of the Community Facility Program which provides grants to public bodies and non-profit corporations for public improvement needed for beneficial and orderly development of a rural community with a population of 20,000 or less.

Anyone seeking more information about this or any other USDA Rural Development programs may visit the homepage at http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/mo/ or by contacting LouAnn Rongey, Area Specialist, 2410 S Franklin, Kirksville, MO 63501, or by calling (660) 665-3274, ext. 115.

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