Lincoln, Nebraska, Nov 23, 2011 -- USDA Rural Development in Nebraska reports that more than $189 million was invested in the state in federal fiscal year 2011. As outlined in the agency’s Annual Report, the funds assisted in areas of housing, business and community development, energy, and telecommunications.
“Nebraska communities, businesses and citizens invested millions of dollars in fiscal year 2011, with the support and resources of USDA Rural Development,” said Nebraska State Director, Maxine Moul. “Our Nebraska staff strives each year to utilize the financial resources available through USDA Rural Development to help build stronger rural communities throughout the state.”
The 2011 Annual Report highlights projects funded in Nebraska.
The report shows $121.9 million expended for housing, $29.1 million for community facilities and water and wastewater projects, $26.6 million for business and energy, $10.3 for telecommunications and $1.5 million for distance learning and telemedicine.
Homeownership programs had a record year of funding at $115.4 million, helping 1,254 households to buy a home. Essential repairs to rural owner-occupied homes were provided to 83 homeowners with financing of nearly $447,000. Rural Development provided affordable rent to 2,593 tenants of Rural Development multi-family rural rental housing complexes through $5.8 million in funding.
In Norfolk, Nebraska, Katie Bowens received a new home through an ongoing partnership with USDA Rural Development, the City of Norfolk, the Nebraska Department of Economic Development and the Northeast Nebraska Economic Development District. USDA Rural Development assisted in purchasing the home through its Single Family Housing Direct Loan program. The partnership demolished a dilapidated property and built a new home. The process helped generate local business and employment.
Investment in community facilities will benefit 18 communities through $12 million for projects such as libraries, public safety, community/senior centers, and health facilities. Water and wastewater systems will be impacted by $16.8 million that will assist 17 communities and 3,367 households.
In Pawnee City, Nebraska, USDA Rural Development assisted with the new Pawnee City Public Library. Rural Development provided an American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) Community Facility loan of $160,000 and ARRA grant of $172,000 to assist in purchasing the land that is home to the new 6,500 square foot library that serves more than 1,000 rural patrons. Funds also were used for associated construction costs, costs for plans and design, construction engineering and legal fees.
A Telecommunications Infrastructure loan of $10.3 million, awarded to Hemingford Cooperative Telephone Company, will allow the company to upgrade its entire exchange with fiber cable to each premise. It will also enable more than 700 subscribers to initially have up to five Megabytes both up and down for high speed broadband service.
Designed to meet the educational and health care needs of rural Nebraska communities, more than $1.2 million for distance learning and nearly $249,000 for telemedicine was invested in the state.
Funding of $17.2 million assisted eight businesses in business development activities, construction, expansion and refinancing. Also, financial assistance totaling $1.2 million was provided for purchasing and installing renewable energy systems or making energy efficiency improvements for 86 ag producers and rural small businesses. Of this funding, $428,635 in grants supported the installation of eight flexible fuel pumps.
Expanding production of Advanced Biofuels was supported by $5.3 million in payments to four Advanced Biofuel Producers that will promote sustainable economic development in rural Nebraska and provide economic incentives for the increased production of advanced biofuel and its use.
Lastly, two intermediaries will utilize $900,000 in relending funds to provide loans to ultimate recipients for the establishment and expansion of businesses, creating and/or saving jobs. South Sioux City, Nebraska will use a $98,448 Rural Business Enterprise Grant to assist in developing a new small business project in the All America Subdivision, offering key infrastructure to provide more shovel ready sites for potential small business. It is expected the All American Subdivision will potentially create 120 new jobs.
USDA Rural Development serves to increase economic opportunity and to improve the quality of life for all rural Americans.
Visit http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/Reports/NE-USDA2011-AR-web.pdf for a copy of the report or call (402) 437-5563. Visit http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/ne/ for additional program information or to locate an USDA Rural Development Office nearest you.