Washington, DC – Today, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Office of Rural Development has awarded Cambria County with a $30,400 grant and a loan of $49,900 for rural development. The funds will be used for the purchase and installation of a 911 emergency response communications/relay system. Casey previously sent a letter of support to the USDA for this request in November.
“I’m pleased the USDA has awarded Cambria County with this grant,” said Senator Casey. “This money will help provide Cambria County with the funds they need to ensure the safety of those they serve in Southwestern Pennsylvania.”
This grant would allow the county to make equipment purchases to support areas without access to the communications network. The mountainous terrain serviced by this grant has experienced numerous communications issues. First responders face significant challenges when attempting to address emergencies because of this terrain.
The text of Senator Casey’s letter is below:
Mr. Doug O'Brien
Acting Under Secretary for Rural Development
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Dear Mr. O'Brien :
It is my understanding that Cambria County (Pennsylvania) has submitted an application for funding to the Office of Rural Development's Community Facilities Program for the Cambria County Communities Telecommunications Improvement Project. The purpose of this letter is to urge you to give full and fair consideration to this proposal.
I have been informed that Cambria County is seeking to improve communications in its most rural areas in order to support its emergency services network. It is my understanding that this grant would allow the County to make the required equipment purchases to support the areas without access to the communications network. The area that will be serviced by this grant is in a mountainous terrain that has experienced numerous communications issues. Because of this terrain, first responders face significant challenges when attempting to address emergencies. As it appears, this project is therefore essential to ensuring public safety in this rural area.
Thank you in advance for the consideration of my views. Please include this letter in the official record of the application. Consistent with all applicable laws, rules and regulations, I also respectfully request that you keep me informed of the status of this grant application. Finally, if you have any questions, comments or concerns, please feel free to contact me or my staff.
Robert P. Casey, Jr.
United States Senator