Community Development
Infrastructure Development
Community Wish List
Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy

Community and Economic Development

Idaho’s rural leaders need all the help they can get to create more livable and sustainable communities. With tight budgets and limited staff, finding resources to improve community infrastructure or develop strategic plans for economic and community development is often the last on the long list of demands. However, in South-Central Idaho, our community leaders find that help is just a phone call away.

What can RIVDA do for your community?

For almost three decades, Region IV Development Association has been providing hands-on technical assistance to towns throughout southern Idaho - from helping with basic infrastructure development (sewer, water, fire protection) to assisting with community building (Gem Community training, visioning, and comprehensive planning). Region IV staff can assist with town meetings, preparing funding applications, and project administration.

Counties Served (including communities within these counties)

Blaine County
Camas County
Cassia County
Gooding County
Jerome County
Lincoln County
Minidoka County
Twin Falls County

What funding programs do we work with?
The Region IV Development Association currently operates or has involvement in a wide variety of programs, projects and activities that directly impact communities across the region. Whether you are looking for help with community infrastructure planning or implementation, RIVDA staff can help. Among the programs we work with are:

Economic Development Administration (EDA) Planning Grant;
Idaho Community Development Block Grant (ICDBG) program;
Idaho Rural Community Block Grant (RCBG) program;
Economic Development Administration Public Works grant program;
Economic Development Administration Title IX LTED grant program;
USDA Rural Development - Community Infrastructure;
Mainstreet Revitalization;
Gem Community Certification Training; and
US Forest Service – Rural Community Assistance

Economic Development Administration (EDA) - Planning Grant -
The Association operates under a grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration to assist local units of government with economic development planning and community development planning activities. One function under this program is the annual development and compilation of the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) planning document. This document outlines the resources for and the constraints to growth being experienced by the cities and counties throughout the Region. The CEDS includes the "Community Wish-List", providing a focal point for prioritizing development efforts.

Idaho Community Development Block Grant (ICDBG) Program -
On an annual basis, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) allocates roughly $10.0 million in Block Grant funds to the State of Idaho. Administered through the Department of Commerce – Block Grant funds can be used for the development of housing and public infrastructure; senior centers and community centers; and to support the local governments’ efforts in response to a natural disaster or an imminent threat to health and safety. Eligibility is limited to small cities and counties with populations classified under HUD guidelines as being predominantly of low and moderate income. Funding allocations are based on an annual competitive application process. Block Grant funding is also available for economic development projects. Economic Development projects are also evaluated competitively under a separate category and must provide job opportunities to people of low and moderate income.

Idaho Rural Community Block Grant (RCBG) Program -
In 2001, the Idaho Legislature passed the rural initiative to assist rural communities diversify their economies. Two new funding programs emerged from this legislation, the Rural Community Block Grant Program (RCBG) and the Gem Implementation Grant Program (GCI). The objective of both programs is to support publicly owned infrastructure and assets required for business development and job creation.

Economic Development Administration (EDA) Public Works Grants -
The Economic Development Administration maintains a program designed to assist communities with projects that will promote growth and the creation of employment opportunities. The grant program is available for the funding of construction projects that include public infrastructure - sewer and water lines, road access, and other infrastructure required for the operation of business and industry.

Economic Development Administration (EDA) Title IX LTED Grants -
The Economic Development Administration provides grant assistance to communities and regional organizations for projects that will directly analyze or impact the long-term economic stability of the area. Projects under this program can include assessments and planning studies as well as implementation of strategies to change the economic direction of the community. (LTED - Long Term Economic Deterioration)

U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development (formerly FmHA) Community Development Grants/Loans for Infrastructure -
Similar to EDA public works funds, USDA RD loan/grant combinations can be used to support infrastructure development by rural communities. Population guidelines and income levels must meet national criteria for funding. Uses have included water and sewer projects, community facilities and fire safety equipment.

U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development – Rural Business Enterprise Grant (RBEG)
This grant program is generally used to assist in the development of innovative small business applications. Currently, the Association is using this grant source to develop a feasibility evaluation for new incubator facilities. In cooperation with the College of Southern Idaho, the Association intends to determine the need and feasibility of a new incubator to serve the needs of the small business community of South-Central Idaho.

Mainstreet Revitalization -
The National Trust for Historic Preservation has developed a four-step system - Organization, Promotion, Design and Economic Restructuring - for assisting communities with downtown revitalization efforts.

Gem Community -
The Idaho Department of Commerce conducts a similar community development planning process under their Gem Community program. Community leaders and concerned citizens are encouraged to work together to find resolution to common problems in the community. These groups are also vital in providing a comprehensive response team for business diversification inquiries. RIVDA staff acts as a resource for both the Rural Revitalization through Forestry and the Gem Community programs.