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USDA loan to help rural health care in Michigan

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A $540,000 loan from the United States Department of Agriculture will be used to help construct the Oscoda Health Center in Alcona County. 

The Alcona Citizens for Health Incorporated applied for the loan through the USDA Community Facilities Direct Loan and Grant Program.

State Director for USDA Rural Development in Michigan Jason Allen said the program is designed to help accommodate needs of local communities and non-profits. Funds are typically used to build or upgrade rural community facilities. 

The funds will help finance the 19,800 square-foot buildingthat will house medical, behavioral health, care management, outreach and dental services.

“Oscoda and the areas around the former Ward Smith Air Force Base, like so many parts of rural Michigan, has a need for healthcare,” Allen said. “Being able to facilitate the financing of the healthcare facility will allow those citizens in the area to have affordable access to healthcare.”

He said funds can be used in a variety of ways, depending on what the community needs.

“In other areas they have used these same funds to build road commission buildings because that’s what the community needed,” Allen said. “Up in Alpena they used the funds to help with a daycare center. There is just a variety of ways these dollars can be used.”