Bozeman, MT, May 11, 2011 -- Agriculture Under Secretary for Rural Development Dallas Tonsager today announced the selection of rural utilities in five states to receive loan funds to support businesses and create jobs. The loans are being provided through USDA’s Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant program (REDLG).
“These loans are being provided to cooperatives and utilities that will then lend the money for projects that will create jobs and improve rural economic conditions,” Tonsager said. “USDA is proud to be a partner in the effort to bolster these cooperatives and help them win the future by increasing the value and appeal of the products and services they deliver.”
REDLG loan recipients are rural utilities program borrowers that pass the borrowed funds to local organizations for projects to retain and create jobs, upgrade public infrastructure, improve service delivery and improve the quality of life for area residents and visitors.
For example, Triangle Telephone Cooperative Association, Inc. has been selected for a loan to build a senior citizens center in Chester, Mont. The project is expected to create 10 jobs. Rural Development Montana State Director Matt Jones said “Triangle Communications has been a great partner with the USDA for decades now, and this is just one more example of them providing economic development to the communities they serve. Rural Development is proud to be a part of bringing this center to Chester and look forward to more projects in the future with Triangle.”
The program has a history of promoting job creation. In 2009, Rural Development awarded a loan and grant to the Twin Valley Electric Cooperative to help the city of Parsons, Kan., develop a 120-acre tract into a new industrial park. A business moved into the area and an estimated 55 new jobs were created.
In all, USDA announced the award of $1.8 million in REDLG loans. A complete list of projects that were selected for funding is below. Funding for each project is contingent upon the recipient meeting the terms of the loan agreement.
• Kansas: Lyon-Coffey Electric Cooperative, Inc.; $180,000 loan to build a cabinet-making facility and to purchase equipment.
• Mississippi: Coast Electric Power Association; $740,000 loan to expand Blacklidge Emulsions.
• Montana: Triangle Telephone Cooperative Association, Inc.; $266,472 loan to build a senior citizens center in Chester.
• Oklahoma: Kay Electric Cooperative, Inc.; $160,000 loan to build a hangar at the Blackwell-Tonkawa Airport Authority. The hangar will be leased to an aerial spraying business.
• South Carolina: Palmetto Electric Cooperative, Inc.; $500,000 loan to construct a building in the Southern Carolina Commerce Park, in Early Branch.
USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, administers and manages housing, business and community infrastructure and facility programs through a national network of state and local offices. These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America. Rural Development has an existing portfolio of more than $150 billion in loans and loan guarantees. Visit www.rurdev.usda.gov for additional information about the agency’s programs or to locate the USDA Rural Development office nearest you.