Washinton, D.C., Jun 29, 2011 -- Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the selection of 21 utilities for loans and grants to help rural businesses expand and create jobs.
“These loans and grants help cooperatives and utilities support local projects that create jobs and improve rural economic conditions,” Vilsack 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.”
The loans and grants (totaling more than $12 million) are being provided through USDA Rural Development’s Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant program. 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, Triangle Communications of Havre will use a $551,000 USDA loan to facilitate construction of a treatment room addition to the Pioneer Medical Center in Big Timber. This loan will be combined with development grant funds from the State of Montana to begin phase one of a multi-stage project to expand and upgrade the Pioneer Medical Center. A new CT scanner room and an ambulance barn are included in phase one construction.
Vilsack announced more than $12.3 million in economic development loans and grants today. A complete list of projects that were selected for funding is available at www.rurdev.usda.gov. Funding for each project is contingent upon the recipient meeting the terms of the loan or grant agreement.
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.