Des Moines, Iowa, Sep 05, 2013 -- Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced funding for projects in eight states, including Iowa, to improve electric service for about 10,000 rural residents. The loan guarantees are made available through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) rural utilities program and include more than $11 million in smart grid project funding.
“These investments will continue to ensure safe, reliable and affordable service for rural residents, farmers, and commercial and industrial consumers,” said Bill Menner, USDA Rural Development State Director in Iowa. “This funding, which is part of the Obama Administration’s vision for a new rural energy economy, includes investments in smart grid technologies that modernize our nation’s electric system and improve its operation.”
In Iowa, Midland Power Cooperative will receive $25,300,000 in loan guarantees. Funds will be used to serve 530 customers, build 552 miles of distribution line and make other system improvements. The loan amount includes $520,000 for smart grid projects. Midland Power Cooperative serves customers in 17 counties throughout Iowa.
Other states with projects receiving funding as part of this announcement include Kansas, Missouri, North Carolina, New Mexico, Texas, Ohio and Virginia. USDA funding is available contingent upon the recipient meeting the terms of the loan agreement.
The $207.9 million in USDA loan guarantees announced today will be used to build nearly 2,000 miles of line, fund more than $11 million in smart grid projects and make other system improvements. Since 2011, USDA has invested more than $526 million in smart grid technologies nationwide.
USDA Rural Development’s funding continues to have a dramatic impact on rural communities across Iowa. Since 2009, USDA Rural Development has invested more than $2.5 billion on essential public facilities, small and emerging businesses, water and sewer systems, and housing opportunities for Iowa families.
This past year USDA Rural Development’s investment in Iowa helped create or retain more than 1,600 jobs, aided 2,400 families in buying their own homes and assisted more than 60 communities as they made improvements to their facilities, services and infrastructure.
For more information about financing programs available through USDA Rural Development, please call (515) 284-4663 or visit www.rurdev.usda.gov/ia.
USDA Rural Development has 11 offices across the state to serve the 1.7 million Iowans living in rural communities and areas. Office locations include a State Office in Des Moines, along with Area Offices in Albia, Atlantic, Humboldt, Indianola, Iowa Falls, Le Mars, Mount Pleasant, Storm Lake, Tipton and Waverly.
USDA Rural Development is working with rural communities to create jobs, expand opportunity, encourage innovation and build a strong foundation for the future. The agency currently administers and manages more than 40 housing, business and community infrastructure and facility loan and grant programs designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents and farmers and improve the quality of life in rural America.
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 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 the Department 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 $828 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.
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