Washington, D.C., Apr 03, 2013 -- USDA Rural Development and Iowa’s Xenia Rural Water District today announced an agreement that will set the rural water utility on a path to financial viability, while continuing to provide clean water for its 9,400 customers.
Xenia, a rural water utility serving Central and North Central Iowa, was built through a series of loans totaling $128 million from two primary lenders, USDA and private bondholders. Xenia’s current debt to USDA exceeds $45 million.
During the last three-and-a-half years, USDA worked closely with Xenia in an effort to improve its operations and ensure access to clean water for its rural customers.
“USDA Rural Development’s focus has been, and continues to be, the continuation of service for those who live and work in the rural communities that Xenia serves,” said John Padalino, acting administrator of USDA’s Rural Utilities Service, which provided a portion of the funding for the water system.
Padalino noted that the agreement was a successful solution for all parties, who worked hard to keep the system operational while implementing a solution to address financial shortfalls and which ultimately will benefit the entire region.
A recent repayment agreement between Xenia and the bond insurer representing bondholders cleared the way for USDA Rural Development to move forward with its restructuring of Xenia’s debt. The actions by both USDA and the bond insurer include measures that reduce monthly debt service and help ensure continued service at the most affordable rate possible, while assuring financial stability. RUS will continue its close oversight of the District, its operations and its finances.
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, 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 a portfolio of programs designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America.
USDA has made a concerted effort to deliver results for the American people, even as USDA implements sequestration – the across-the-board budget reductions mandated under terms of the Budget Control Act. USDA has already undertaken historic efforts since 2009 to save more than $700 million in taxpayer funds through targeted, common-sense budget reductions. These reductions have put USDA in a better position to carry out its mission, while implementing sequester budget reductions in a fair manner that causes as little disruption as possible.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (866) 632-9992 (Toll-free Customer Service), (800) 877-8339 (Local or Federal relay), (866) 377-8642 (Relay voice users).
# # #