ST. PAUL Minn., Jun 29, 2011 -- USDA Rural Development State Director Colleen Landkamer today announced that four Minnesota utility cooperatives have been selected to receive over $2.2 million to help rural businesses and community infrastructure projects.
“This funding helps cooperatives and utilities support local projects that create jobs and improve the rural economy,” Landkamer said. “Rural Development is proud to be a partner in the effort to bolster these cooperatives and their communities. These types of investments help Minnesota’s rural communities Win the Future.”
The financing is provided through Rural Development’s Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant program (REDLG). Recipients are rural utilities program borrowers that pass the 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, the Federated Rural Electric Association in Jackson, Minn., has been selected for a $740,000 loan to expand the AGCO Corporation facility and construct a visitor center. The additional space will allow the company to increase manufacturing production of high horse- power tractors and related equipment. The new facility is expected to create 100 jobs.
Other Minnesota projects include:
• Garden Valley Telephone Company in Erskine: $115,000 loan to build an addition to the fire hall in Grygla.
• Lake Region Electric Cooperative in Pelican Rapids: $320,228 loan and $300,000 grant to purchase medical equipment and furnishings for a new medical clinic in Pelican Rapids.
• Steele Waseca Cooperative Electric in Owatonna: $740,000 loan help SAGE Electrochromics in Faribault finance the construction a 250,000 square-foot manufacturing plant. The new plant will help SAGE expand product features, meet the growing demands for clean energy, and manufacture larger size windows and reduced costs.
Minnesota utility cooperatives have utilized about $8 million in REDLG funds since 2009 to help local businesses, improve community infrastructure and create local jobs. To learn more about USDA Rural Development, visit www.rurdev.usda.gov/mn.