Grants from USDA Rural Development will help rural communities, such as Craig, Missouri, recover from the damage to public facilities caused by flooding earlier this year.

Federal grants managed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture will provide the chance for funds to help Northwest Missouri communities recover from this year’s flood damage.

The region will share in $150 million through the agency’s Rural Development Community Facilities Program, which helps rural communities recover from natural disasters such as the floods that have struck the area.

Eligibility is available to 13 counties in the region included in federal disaster declarations. The list includes Andrew, Atchison, Buchanan, Caldwell, Daviess, Gentry, Grundy, Harrison, Holt, Livingston, Mercer, Nodaway and Platte counties. Grant applications will be accepted at USDA Rural Development offices on a continual basis until funds are exhausted, with no set deadlines.

Lindsy Cheek, a spokesperson for the Rural Development state office in Columbia, said the funding can be utilized by communities for various needs related to flood damage, including fire stations, libraries, hospitals and community-based initiatives. There are more than 100 types of projects with eligibility for the funding.

“This particular pot of money is a disaster appropriation,” Cheek stated. “They can be small projects, where a police department needs new cars.”

The Gentry County Sheriff’s Department was able to procure two patrol cars thanks to the grants, according to Cheek. The Community Facilities Program also helped build a seven-bay unit in King City, Missouri, housing fire and emergency services vehicles.

Eligible projects must be located in rural areas with populations of 20,000 or less. Smaller communities with the lowest median household income are eligible for a higher proportion of grant funds.

The program also provides loans and loan guarantees for essential community facilities for public use in rural areas.

More information is available at Rural Development offices in St. Joseph, Maryville and Chillicothe.

Ray Scherer can be reached

at ray.scherer@newspressnow.com.

Follow him on Twitter: @SJNPScherer.