BISMARCK, N.D., Oct 03, 2011 -- USDA Rural Development State Director Jasper Schneider today announced funding that will support rural communities, help create jobs and build regional economies.
“These investments will help business leaders and communities take a more regional approach when creating strong, self-sustaining rural communities,” Schneider said. “By making resources available to these entities, jobs will be created and economic activity will increase.”
The projects funded will focus on strategic planning activities to improve economic conditions in rural areas, particularly in underserved communities. Through regional collaboration, communities can connect and cluster their economies geographically based on their self-identified strengths, so they are able to increase productivity and build more robust, sustainable economies.
The following recipients were selected to receive USDA funding through the Rural Business Opportunity Grants (RBOG) program and the Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant (REDLG) program.
Rural Business Opportunity Grants program:
• Fort Abraham Lincoln Foundation (Mandan, ND) – $45,000. Funds will be used to provide technical assistance and training to Native American interpreters and study potential Native American Interpretation sites.
• South Central Dakota Regional Council (Jamestown, ND) – $50,000. Funds will be used to increase technical assistance to individual businesses through the Small Business Development Center program.
• Standing Rock Sioux Tribe (Fort Yates, ND) – $150,000. Funds will be used to provide area-wide planning and community development.
Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant program:
• Dakota Valley Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Milnor, ND) – $340,000 loan; $300,000 grant. Funds will assist the City of LaMoure construct a multi-purpose facility to house the fire, police and ambulance departments.
• Nodak Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Grand Forks, ND) – $740,000 loan. Funds will be used to assist the Walsh Grain Terminal, LLC construct a new grain elevator and shuttle car rail loading facility.
• Northern Plains Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Cando, ND) – $83,333 grant. The funds will be used to assist Community Ambulance Service of New Rockford construct a new ambulance facility that will include training and office space.
• Verendrye Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Velva, ND) – $300,000 grant. The funds will be used to assist the Kids Academy construct a new child care facility in Berthold, North Dakota.
The RBOG and REDLG programs support job creation efforts, regional planning activities, business development and economic growth in rural communities. Under the Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant program, USDA provides grants to local utilities which use the funding to establish revolving loan funds. Loans are then made for projects that will create or retain jobs in rural areas.