Falls City, Nebraska, Dec 08, 2010 -- Southeast Nebraska Communications, Inc. of Falls City, NE has been awarded a $3.4 million loan and $7.9 million grant from USDA Rural Development’s Rural Utilities Service (RUS) Broadband Initiatives Program (BIP) for broadband and a $1.2 million Infrastructure Program loan and $10.8 guaranteed loan for broadband and telecommunications services. The awards were recognized today in Falls City by USDA Rural Development Nebraska State Director Maxine Moul with a plaque presentation.
“We are pleased to celebrate Southeast Nebraska Communications, Inc.’s award of funds to advance telecommunications and broadband services to rural southeast Nebraska and a small area in northeast Kansas,” said Moul. “The funding illustrates RUS and Southeast Nebraska Communications, Inc.’s commitment to bringing needed quality telecommunications to the area.”
The $11.3 million BIP broadband project was funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). It will allow construction of Fiber to the Home throughout the rural portion of Southeast Nebraska Communications Inc.’s certified service area, which includes all areas outside of Falls City. The project will benefit approximately 3,000 people, 50 businesses, and 20 community institutions.
The $12 million telecommunications project, anticipated to be completed in early 2011, brings Fiber to the Home to all of Falls City. The project is funded through a $10.8 million guaranteed loan that was provided by the Federal Financing Bank with Rural Development guaranteeing the funds, and $1.2 million in Cost of Money funds. The project will benefit approximately 4,000 people, 250 businesses and 90 community institutions.
Southeast’s certified service area includes the eastern portion of Richardson and several miles in Nemaha counties in Nebraska and a few miles in Brown County, Kansas. These projects will create jobs and provide rural residents with access to improved service.
“SNC is excited for this opportunity to partner with USDA and invest in a Fiber to the Home network to serve all our customers. This state of the art, “future-proof” communications solution, with nearly unlimited capacity, will not only allow for remarkable expanded phone and internet services to customers now, but also for new applications that customers will desire in the future,” said General Manager Elizabeth Sickel, SNC.
Following the event, the new Community Medical Center in Falls City was toured by Moul and USDA Area Director Roger Meeks. USDA Rural Development assisted with a Community Facility Direct Loan of $9 million. In addition, the Stillwater National Bank financed a loan of $9 million backed by a USDA Rural Development guarantee.
The new Community Medical Center was completed in June 2009. The facility includes 24 patient rooms, surgery suites, and private specialty clinics, a Family Medicine Clinic, two delivery rooms, maternity suites and state-of-the-art medical equipment. Patients are able to enjoy private rooms with plenty of space to accommodate family and friends during their stay. The Community Medical Center has been serving Richardson County for more than 90 years. The more than 9,500 rural residents in Richardson County have better access to the full range of medical services that the Center provides.