The U.S. Agriculture Department reports that its rural development program has provided about $459 million in grants and loans to rural South Dakota communities in the past year.
The program support projects that involve housing, business and community development, water and wastewater systems, energy production, distance learning and telecommunications.
Rural Development State Director Elsie Meeks says the funds help rural communities, businesses and people gain economic opportunities and a better quality of life.
Water and wastewater funds are available to communities with populations of less than 10,000. Housing and community facility funding is available to towns of 20,000 or less. And businesses and industries in cities with populations of up to 50,000 can obtain funding.