Carson City, NV, Nov 14, 2013 -- USDA RD Invests Over $209 Million in Rural Nevada in FY 2013
Federal Funds Support Affordable Housing, Business Ventures and Community Buildings
(Carson City-Nov.14, 2013) USDA Rural Development, one of the seven mission areas of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA RD), today announced it invested over $209 million in rural Nevada in FY 2013. Working with private mortgage lenders, USDA has helped 914 families move into their own homes; the business program has assisted 21 small businesses with grants and loans in support of entrepreneurship; and the community program has funded 16 critically needed infrastructure projects for water systems, waste water treatment, emergency response equipment, and essential community facilities.
USDA RD State Director Sarah Adler announced the year-end total during an event highlighting a loan guarantee that enabled a Storey County manufacturer to expand.
Adler commended the realtors, community partners, Tribes, and city and county staff in rural Nevada who “work tirelessly to get projects completed.”
“Long-term results are often tied to the commitment and tenacity of a handful of outstanding individuals,” Adler said. “I am continually impressed by the rural Nevadans I meet who do it all-- they run a business, coach a local team, volunteer at the fire station and sit on the community town board. They inspire me and my staff, and I am proud for us to work side by side with them to provide funds that support their communities and their businesses.”
For the third year in a row, USDA RD’s Housing Program broke its record in terms of investments in homeownership. USDA RD brought 914 families into homeownership with over $149 million in home loans and guarantees of private sector mortgages for low and moderate income people living in rural parts of the state. The smaller direct loan program provides low interest loans to low-income people, and the guaranteed home loan program works with private mortgage lenders to provide 100% financing for modest income individuals and families seeking to live in rural areas.
Fifty-six seniors benefited from the agency’s home repair program which provided $255,268 in grants to complete home repairs to improve safety and accessibility. In addition, rental assistance for low-income families totaled $6.4 million in Nevada. Rental assistance is offered to qualified low-income seniors and families living in RD-financed apartment complexes throughout the state.
In FY 13, the Business Program invested $9.6 million statewide, including $8 million for four Guaranteed Business and Industry (B and I) projects statewide, most notably, a recent $5.6 million loan guarantee for Foley Tahoe-Reno (FTR) in Storey County. The guarantee on Heritage Bank’s loan to FTR allowed the company to refinance a debt on a building that houses two manufacturers that together employ 170 people. The B and I program provides private lenders a guarantee on eligible loans in communities of 50,000 population or less, which provides lenders an opportunity to assist business and expand their loan portfolios in rural Nevada.
Included in the nearly $10 million in business investment, RD’s Intermediary Relending Program (IRP) in Nevada received a $1 million boost with a loan to Rural Nevada Development Corporation. Headquartered in Ely, the 20-year old non-profit organization is an approved re-lender, providing loans to small businesses in Nevada’s 15 rural counties, the rural portions of Washoe and Clark counties, as well as Nevada’s 27 Native American tribes. RNDC has loaned over $7 million in USDA funds to eligible rural businesses through its loan programs. For more information visit the RNDC website at http://rndcnv.org/lending.html.
USDA RD invested $276,880 in Renewable Energy Loans and Grants in Nevada in FY 2013, including $186,200 in eight Rural Energy for America projects (REAP), and another $90,680 in advanced biofuels payments. REAP helps agricultural producers and small rural businesses increase energy efficiency and reduce carbon in the environment through grants that support energy efficiency improvement for heating and air conditioning systems, or through development of alternative energy systems, such as solar, wind, or micro-hydro systems. The biofuels program provides payments to support the development and growth of the advanced biofuels industry.
The Rural Business Enterprise Grant (RBEG) continues to build a foundation for business growth, with $218,000 invested in six Nevada projects in FY 2013, plus an additional $90,000 from the national office allocation for two tribal projects. All total, three Nevada tribes benefitted from $112,800 in RBEG funding for their projects to conduct feasibility studies to develop business enterprise. The RBEG program funds feasibility studies, revolving loan funds, and technical assistance to support business enterprise and job growth. Most recently, the Buy Local Rural Northern Nevada data base and website was funded to develop a local consumer-business connection. The Value Added Producer Grant program made a $23,655 grant to the River School Farm in Reno to support promotion and marketing of their locally grown products.
This year, USDA RD’s Community Programs invested just over $42 million in critically needed community services. The Community Facility (CF) direct loans provided $18.1 million; the Community Facility guarantee loans provided $2.4 million, Community Facility grants leveraged $171,580 for critically needed projects. The flagship CF project this year was a $16.3 million loan and loan guarantee to Boulder City Hospital in southern Nevada to expand and renovate the critical access hospital, while bringing into the hospital and the community two new health care services, in-patient geriatric psychiatry and rehabilitation.
USDA RD’s Water and Environmental Program invested over $22 million in loans and grants for rural community water and waste water treatment systems that are fundamental to protecting community health and to providing an infrastructure base for future community development. These projects provide for major infrastructure improvements at affordable rates, and create significant numbers of construction jobs, while preparing rural communities for long-term, positive growth.
Finally, the Telecommunications Loan and Grant program invested $442,468 in a Community Connect grant that will bring broadband service to the community of Lund and surrounding areas in White Pine County.
“Another very important part of our work,” said Adler, “is the expertise we provide to rural communities and tribes to link them up with other beneficial programs and partners. We support them finding a path forward to a more sustainable future, whether that comes from our programs, our partners’ programs, or their own initiative and good ideas.”
USDA RD staff continues to work side by side with partners in nine counties of western Nevada to implement the Stronger Economies Together (SET) regional economic blueprint developed in FY ’12. Staff is also active in collaborative work on local and regional food systems, food security, rural tourism, broadband, and developing biomass as a means of restoring the landscape while creating new products and forms of renewable energy.
USDA Rural Development has offices in Carson City, Fallon, Las Vegas and Elko. For more information, visit the USDA RD website at www.rurdev.usda.gov/NVHome.html