Washington Post: What does rural mean? Uncle Sam has more than a dozen answers.

June 10, 2013 | General RCAP News

On June 9, The Washington Post carried a front-page article about the federal government's multiple definitions of rural for the variety of programs it has for residents of those areas of the country.

Within one federal agency alone, the Department of Agriculture (USDA), there are 11 definitions for rural. RCAP receives an annual grant for its general operating budget from this department, which funds RCAP's Technitrain program. This enables RCAP to provide technical assistance to small, rural communities that are recipients of loans and grants from USDA Rural Development for their drinking water and wastewater systems.

RCAP supports a definition of rural  that is not too broad that it crowds out the smallest of the small communities for assistance under the federal government programs for rural areas (specifically for drinking water and wastewater systems). RCAP wants to ensure that the government's definitions are narrow and specific enough that the communities RCAP has assisted for four decades are still able to access the government's resources, including loans, grants and assistance through organizations like RCAP. RCAP believes that small communities have special needs for accessing these resources because of their size.

Read the Post's article