By Senator Cortez Masto
This year, regional airports in Ely, Elko and Battle Mountain will begin renovation and improvement projects that include runway rehabilitation, airport building improvements and the instillation of new perimeter fencing. Meanwhile, the City of Yerington and the Yerington Paiute Tribe are working together to replace their aging water infrastructure with new pipelines. Throughout Nevada’s rural counties, thousands of children and their families will receive support to help reduce summer food insecurity.
These three projects, and countless more, have been made possible in part by a variety of federal grant programs designed to strengthen rural infrastructure, services, and communities. Remote communities in Nevada have unique infrastructure and health needs. Federal grants from agencies like the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Department of Transportation and the Department of Health and Human Services reinvest your taxpayer dollars back into your communities by providing critical funding to local economies, supporting families that need a helping hand and the non-profits that assist them, and encouraging the growth of small businesses that drive economic prosperity.
Anyone who has been to any of Nevada’s rural towns and communities knows of their resilience, self-reliance, and ability to do the best they can with what they’ve got. Grants provide an opportunity to support that resourcefulness and innovative problem solving. When residents of Fernley, Yerington and Dayton saw a need for health services in their communities, they founded the Healthy Communities Coalition of Lyon and Storey Counties. Today, the organization hosts mental health and addiction recovery workshops, recreational programing for local children, and manages food pantries and community gardens to promote healthy and sustainable eating. The Department of Health and Human Services recently recognized that work by awarding them $200,000 to continue their outreach. The federal grant money this program, and numerous other programs like it across Nevada, receives improves lives and creates opportunities for rural residents. These grants are putting your tax dollars back into the communities it came from and supporting the local organizations that know how to best serve Nevadans.
Federal grant dollars support our rural businesses, organizations and town governments by providing them with the economic capacity to help more people. One of my biggest priorities as a United States Senator is to ensure that the federal government in Washington is working hard for the people who need it most, including for the residents of counties like Lander, Storey, White Pine, Nye and Elko. While the President’s recent budget proposed drastic cuts to programs like the USDA Rural Development Grant Program and Rural Utilities Service Program, I fought in the Senate to protect that money for rural Nevada. I was proud to vote for a 2018 funding agreement that included increased spending for USDA Rural Development grant programs, a $135 million increase in HHS rural healthcare program funding, and over $1 billion for the Department of Transportation’s Airport Improvement Program. These programs will continue to make a difference in communities across our state.
I have seen firsthand how federal grant money is being put to work for you across Nevada. That is why I am proud to offer grant assistance through my Las Vegas, Reno and mobile rural office, as well as through my website. There are many different sources of grant funding that can bring tax dollars back to our communities and my dedicated team is here to help constituents running local nonprofit organizations and small businesses benefitting their communities find the resources and support they need to fight for that funding. This includes help in finding appropriate funding sources, drafting letters of support for grant applications and tracking the status of existing grant funding requests. Rural Nevadans are innovative business people, dedicated community philanthropists, and self-reliant problem solvers. I will continue to make sure you have every tool in your toolbox to continue that work by fighting for access to the federal grants that help your communities thrive.
Please know that my office works for you and is a resource. You may contact my Reno, Las Vegas, rural mobile office, and my Washington, D.C. office; and sign-up for my newsletter to receive quarterly updates on my work by going to my website at http://www.cortezmasto.senate.gov/contact.