Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the selection of 21 utilities in 11 states for loans and grants to help rural businesses expand and create jobs.
"These loans and grants help cooperatives and utilities support local projects that create jobs and improve rural economic conditions," Vilsack said. "USDA is proud to be a partner in the effort to bolster these cooperatives and help them win the future by increasing the value and appeal of the products and services they deliver."
The loans and grants are being provided through USDA Rural Development's Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant program. Recipients are rural utilities program borrowers that pass the funds to local organizations for projects to retain and create jobs, upgrade public infrastructure, improve service delivery and improve the quality of life for area residents and visitors.
For example, the Federated Rural Electric Association in Jackson, Minn., has been selected for a $740,000 loan to expand the Arco Corporation facility and construct a visitor center. The additional space will allow the company to increase manufacturing production of high horse- power tractors and related equipment. The new facility is expected to create 100 jobs.
The Utilities District of Western Indiana, Rural Electric Membership Cooperative (REMC), was selected to receive a $740,000 Rural Development loan and $300,000 grant to fund a new elevated water storage tank and supply lines. The project will enhance the water capacity of the Westgate Tech Park and the towns of Scotland and Crane, Ind., while creating an estimated 385 jobs.
Vilsack announced more than $12.3 million in economic development loans and grants today. A complete list of projects that were selected for funding is below. Funding for each project is contingent upon the recipient meeting the terms of the loan or grant agreement.
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