Earlier this week I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Jonathan Boyce of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) office here in Nashville. Fortunately his office is just down the street on West End, which was well within walking distance of my office. Mr. Boyce is part of the Community Program Division.
As some of you may, or may not know, USDA has funding that can be used for a wide variety of projects. One of their most popular programs are for water/waste-water system upgrades. What you may not know is that they have a Community Facilities Program that can be used for a wide range of projects that includes downtown improvements, roadway repair, and bridge replacement to name a few potential projects that it will fund.
Now to be honest most of these programs are in the form of a loan, or in some cases a loan in combination with a grant. That said, they can set up long (up to 40 years) terms with pretty low interest. It just depends on the project.
The USDA programs may, or may not be something that works for your community, or your project. But it is something to keep in the back of your head as you develop your project and look for ways to fund it.