LAKE BENTON, Minn., Oct 30, 2012 -- USDA Rural Development State Director Colleen Landkamer visited the Lake Benton Heritage Center/City Office today to highlight how USDA funding helped the cities of Lake Benton, Tyler, Ivanhoe and Hendricks in Lincoln County purchase and install early storm warning sirens this year. Landkamer was joined by officials from each community and representatives from Lincoln County.
“It’s important that communities in rural Minnesota have the resources to keep residents safe and secure,” said Colleen Landkamer, USDA Rural Development State Director. “Healthier and safer rural communities mean strong rural communities and more opportunities for job creation and economic growth. It was a coordinated effort among the four cities here today and Lincoln County to make these storm warning siren purchases happen. I want to thank everyone involved for working together regionally and getting this done.”
Tyler, Ivanhoe and Hendricks each received $5,000 grants from the USDA for the siren purchases. Lake Benton received a $15,000 low-interest loan and a $5,000 grant. Each community also contributed funding toward the purchase of the sirens.
“This was a high priority for Lincoln County and I’m glad that we were able to work with USDA to make each siren purchase possible,” said Jeanna Sommers, Lincoln County Emergency Manager. “Three of the four sirens have already been installed and are working great. The fourth is nearing installation.”
The funding comes from USDA Rural Development’s community facilities program, which funds essential buildings, equipment and vehicles in rural areas. In addition to storm warning sirens, other examples of community facilities projects include hospitals, nursing homes, day cares, fire halls, emergency response vehicles, city halls, utility vehicles and police radios.
USDA Rural Development has invested over $3.5 billion throughout Minnesota since 2009. In addition to essential community facilities, the agency finances housing, infrastructure, businesses, renewable energy and high-speed Internet in rural areas.
To learn more about Rural Development programs, visit www.rurdev.usda.gov/mn, or call the area office in Marshall at (507) 532-3234, ext. 4.