Minnesota U.S. Reps. Brad Finstad (MN-01) and Pete Stauber (MN-08) introduced on Friday the Rebuilding Rural Roads Act, which would change the definition of “rural” under the Rural Surface Transportation Grant Program and give rural communities greater opportunity to secure infrastructure investments.
Currently, the definition of “rural area” for eligible applicants under the Rural Surface Transportation Grant Program is 200,000 in population or less. The Rebuilding Rural Roads Act would lower the definition to 20,000, putting the Department of Transportation in line with other federal agencies, such as the USDA Rural Development and the Small Business Administration.
“Our small and rural communities are historically at a disadvantage when it comes to receiving federal transportation dollars,” said Rep. Finstad in a press release. “Small towns and rural counties shouldn’t have to compete with major cities and urban areas for funding intended for rural communities. The Rebuilding Rural Roads Act would level the playing field for rural America by making sure the eligibility requirements for these grant dollars accurately represent rural communities.”