Clarinda, Iowa, Jul 31, 2012 -- Agriculture Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Doug O'Brien today announced the selection of projects in Iowa for loans and grants that will support job creation efforts, business development and strengthen economic growth in rural communities across the state.
“We are pleased to be helping with efforts around the state that will strengthen the economy, create jobs, support business growth and expand opportunity for rural Iowans,” O'Brien said. “The Obama Administration is committed to ensuring that rural communities are economically vibrant and successful in their business-development and job-creation efforts.”
Funding is being provided through USDA's Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant program (REDLG), which provides zero-interest loans to local utilities which they, in turn, pass through to local businesses (ultimate recipients) for projects that will create and retain employment in rural areas.
With today’s announcement, USDA is investing nearly $2.5 million to spur economic growth. The following is a list of rural utilities in Iowa that will receive funding, which is contingent upon the recipient meeting the terms of the loan or grant agreement.
• Eastern Iowa Light & Power Cooperative – $298,000 loan. Funding will be used to purchase land that a local community development corporation will develop as an industrial park.
• Orange City Municipal Electric Utility -- $1,000,000 loan. Funds will be used to provide loans to rural utilities program borrowers to provide economic development. This project will provide a loan to Tec Industries, LLC dba Quatro Composites to be used for the purchase of machinery and equipment. This project is expected to create 144 new jobs.
• Rock Rapids Municipal Utilities -- $300,000 grant. Funds will be used to provide grants to rural utilities program borrowers to provide economic development. This project provides support to Rock Rapids Municipal Utilities who will add $60,000 match to create a $360,000 revolving loan fund. The revolving loan fund will make a loan to Rock Rapids Area Development Foundation which will construct a new building in Rock Rapids. This project is expected to create up to 20 jobs.
• Harrison County Rural Electric Cooperative – $344,000 loan. Funding will be used to construct a 10,000-square-foot central warehouse facility for Grato Holdings, Inc. The new warehouse will consolidate the company's operations.
• Central Iowa Power Cooperative – $300,000 grant. Funds will be used to purchase land that a local community development corporation will develop as an industrial park.
• O’Brien made the announcement during a two-day tour in Iowa. The trip began with a groundbreaking ceremony at Manning Regional Healthcare Center in Manning, Iowa. USDA Rural Development is providing a $21 million loan to assist with construction of the hospital. Following the ceremony, O'Brien toured the new Clarinda Regional Health Center in Clarinda, Iowa. The health center recently received an $18.9 million USDA loan to help with construction costs.
• USDA Rural Development's funding continues to have a dramatic impact on rural communities across Iowa. Since 2009, the agency has invested nearly $2 billion in essential public facilities, small and emerging businesses, water and sewer systems, and housing opportunities to help Iowa families and communities build a better future.
• “Under President Obama's leadership, USDA has carried out these investments, helping our rural communities and sectors which impact the rural economy,” O’Brien added. “In turn, this has supported the rural way of life that stands as the backbone of our American values. It has empowered rural America to continue leading the way, strengthening America's economy, and strengthening small towns and rural communities.”
• President Obama’s plan for rural America has brought about historic investment and resulted in stronger rural communities. Under the President's leadership, these investments in housing, community facilities, businesses and infrastructure have empowered rural America to continue leading the way – strengthening America's economy and strengthening small towns and rural communities. USDA's investments in rural communities support the rural way of life that stands as the backbone of our American values. President Obama and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack are committed to a smarter use of Federal resources to foster sustainable economic prosperity and ensure the government is a strong partner for businesses, entrepreneurs and working families in rural communities.
• USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, has an active portfolio of more than $170 billion in loans and loan guarantees. 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.