APPLETON, Apr 25, 2013 -- Rural Development
375 Jackson Street | Suite 410
St. Paul, Minnesota, 55101
Release No.: 00003
Nikki Gillespie, (651) 602-7786
USDA Rural Development and Federated Telephone Cooperative Finance a Pool Renovation Project in Appleton
APPLETON, Minn., April 25 – A partnership between USDA Rural Development and Federated Telephone Cooperative has resulted in a new aquatic center for the city of Appleton, Minn. Rural Development officials visited Federated Telephone Cooperative today to highlight how a $250,000 Rural Economic Development Grant (REDG) helped make the project possible. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) remains focused on carrying out its mission, despite a time of significant budget uncertainty. Today’s announcement is one part of the Department’s efforts to strengthen the rural economy.
Federated Telephone Cooperative will use Rural Development funds to create and establish a revolving loan fund to promote rural economic development and job creation projects, with its first Ultimate Recipient selected as City of Appleton, Minn., for the renovation of its outdoor swimming pool and bathhouse.
The REDG funding provided to Federated Telephone Cooperative helped to lower the tax burden placed on city residents through their property taxes. Many of Appleton’s residents are on fixed or low incomes.
“Federated Telephone deserves a lot of credit for reinvesting in the local community,” one USDA official said. “Appleton’s new aquatic center will provide a useful service to the local community and help contribute to its economic sustainability.”
The pool renovation project began in 2010 as a group of local mothers saw that the very antiquated swimming pool was deteriorating fast. Built in the 1950s, the Appleton Swimming Pool was the second oldest public swimming pool in the state of Minnesota. Working with the Appleton City Council, the Appleton Pool Committee began a fund raising drive to help support the cost of much needed renovations.
“Federated Telephone Board member, Dan Smith made the committee aware of the funds available from the company,” Appleton Pool Committee member, Leslie Ehrenberg, said. “These interest-free loan funds were an important part of the project.”
Many areas of the aged pool needed to be addressed. The original pool gutter system was caving in, hazardous cement conditions, aging equipment, and shower stalls and toilets that no longer met saftey codes. In addition, the wading pool was considered unsafe due to the level of water being too high for the youngest swimmers.
The new Appleton Aquatic Center will improve saftey and health conditions for community members. It also will allow for handicap and ADA accessibility, widening the scope of service to a broader population. The new facility will also provide heat in both the main pool and wading pool and address the infrastructure in need of repair.
The REDG program provides funding to rural projects through local utility organizations. Under the REDG program, USDA provides grants to local utilities which, in turn, pass through to local entities (ultimate recipients) for projects that will increase economic development in rural areas.
USDA Rural Development also has financing available for homes, businesses and infrastructure projects in rural communities. To learn more, visit www.rurdev.uda.gov/mn, or call the local office in Alexandria at (320) 763-3191, ext. 4.
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)