**Funding Will be Used in a Variety of Ways to Expand Broadband Access in Northern NH, Enhance First Responder Equipment and Resources & Help Low-income Homeowners Make Safety and Energy Efficiency Improvements**
(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced today with U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02) that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) awarded more than $300,000 in federal grants for a variety of projects throughout Cheshire and Coos Counties that invest in rural community development.
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. The 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 (WAP), a federal program Shaheen has long-championed.
“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,” said Senator 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.”
“These rural development grants will provide critical support for families, law enforcement, and businesses across our state,” said Senator Hassan. “I will continue to advocate strongly for projects like these that advance the health, safety, and economic prosperity of all Granite Staters, in all parts of our state.”
“These grants will enable our rural New Hampshire communities to expand access to broadband, upgrade equipment utilized by law enforcement and emergency personnel, and make important repairs to disadvantaged homes,” said Congresswoman Kuster. “I will continue to work with my colleagues to secure funding for meaningful investments in our economy and the health and wellbeing of Granite Staters.”
A senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Senator Shaheen has fought to secure funding that invests in rural development projects. In funding legislation recently passed by the Senate Appropriations Committee, Shaheen successfully secured $303.5 million for the Weatherization Assistance Program, an increase of $46.5 million over last year’s funding levels. In the same funding legislation, Shaheen worked to establish the Northern Border Regional Commission (NBRC) State Capacity Building Grant Program, to increase the region’s capacity for business retention and expansion, increase access to high-speed broadband, and other critical infrastructure.