The U.S. Department of Agriculture awarded more than $300,000 in federal grants for a variety of projects throughout Cheshire and Coos Counties that invest in rural community development, according to a statement from U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan and Congresswoman Annie Kuster.
Specifically, the Northern Forest Center in Concord will receive $188,547 to expand broadband access and digital literacy in Lancaster, New Hampshire. The funding will also benefit communities in Maine and Vermont that are underserved by broadband.
The Town of Lancaster will also receive $17,500 to purchase a new vehicle for the police department to more safely and efficiently respond to emergencies in the White Mountains area.
The Town of Northumberland will receive $50,000 for the Groveton ambulance department to purchase improved defibrillator technology that will help first responders better discern symptoms related to heart attacks or drug overdoses. The advanced equipment includes Wi-Fi and Bluetooth technology, allowing the receiving hospital to monitor the patient’s current medical status while in transport.
Southwestern Community Services in Keene will receive $60,000 to help low-income residents make safety and energy efficiency improvements to their homes. This grant is facilitated by the Weatherization Assistance Program.
“These federal grants are important investments in New Hampshire’s rural communities – from expanding access to broadband, to investing in our first responders’ equipment and resources to keep our residents safe, to helping our low-income families make critical improvements to lower their household costs – this federal funding will go a long way,” says Shaheen. “Securing the funding for programs like this that invest in the economic vitality and safety of our rural communities will always be top of my list during the appropriations process.”