BAUDETTE, Nov 17, 2010 -- USDA Rural Development State Director Colleen Landkamer visited Baudette today to award two grants totaling $400,000 that will help create jobs and assist local businesses in the region. The city of Baudette was awarded a $100,000 Rural Business Enterprise Grant (RBEG) and North Star Electric Cooperative was awarded a $300,000 Rural Economic Development Grant (REDG).
The city will use the RBEG to establish a revolving loan fund to finance expansion and job creation projects for area small businesses. North Star will use the REDG to help finance construction costs on a new electrical line-worker’s school in Baudette. A ceremony to officially award both grants was held at North Star’s headquarters.
“Both of these grants will help boost the economic outlook and create needed jobs in the Baudette region,” Landkamer said. “Both grants also establish a base for long-term economic development in the region.”
Both awards establish revolving loan funds, which means once the initial loans are paid back, the city and North Star will be able to make additional loans and assist other businesses and infrastructure projects.
“This is a huge future investment in our area and community,” said Steve Arnesen, President of the North Star Electric Cooperative Board of Directors. “Not only will this grant assist in the construction of the lineman’s school, but when it is revolved in the area in future years, this will be very beneficial for the growth or construction of future projects.”
Rural Development also finances infrastructure, essential community facilities, renewable energy, high-speed Internet and housing in rural areas. For more information on Rural Development programs, visit www.rurdev.usda.gov/mn, or call the local office in Bemidji at (218) 751-1942, ext. 4.