The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) says it is creating jobs by spending millions on snowmobiles, fire trucks, studying a “gluten-free mill,” and other local initiatives.
The federal agency announced $18.1 million in loans and grants last month, describing the projects as an “efficient way” to benefit taxpayers.
The spending includes over $150,000 for two snowmobile clubs in Vermont.
The “Drift Dusters Snowmobile Club” will receive $73,572 and “Country Riders Snowmobile” will get $76,832 to “purchase a snowmobile to support local businesses and promote tourism.”
Many of the projects appear unrelated to agriculture, including $171,000 to build a parking lot in Marianna, Fla., and a $1,760,000 zero-interest loan to expand a retirement community in Orange City, Iowa. Another project will cost taxpayers $85,000 to “beautify a downtown area into an attractive park” in Boonville, Ind.
A quarter of a million dollars is being spent to build a “medically oriented gym” in Iowa. Funds will also go towards local fire departments, including $200,000 for a fire engine in Trenton, N.C., and $300,000 to help build a fire station in South Dakota.
Two local Chamber of Commerce offices in Tennessee will receive $10,000 and $3,500 on “various marketing materials,” and a nonprofit organization in Vermont is getting $78,098 for a “promotional campaign to attract Canadian shoppers.”
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