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USDA spends $534M in Iowa

By Staff | Nov 12, 2012

DES MOINES (USDA)- Funds from U.S. Department of Agriculture-Rural Development’s nearly 40 loan and grant programs continue to have a dramatic impact on communities across Iowa.

During fiscal year 2012, which ended on Sept. 30, USDA-RD’s investment of $534 million in loans and grants helped create or retain more than 1,600 jobs, aided 2,400 families in buying homes and assisted 60 communities with improvements to facilities, services and infrastructure.

“Our focus is on the viability of rural communities which are so vital to our state and nation,” said Bill Menner, USDA-RD state director. “These are the places that help support American agriculture and foster an ethic that impacts our workforce, our military and our economy. We are working with communities to create jobs, expand opportunity, encourage innovation and build a strong foundation for the future.”

Funds from the agency’s programs help modernize essential water systems, build clinics and hospitals, support renewable energy systems, energy conservation, and ensure affordable housing for rural residents.

Some of the larger projects funded include:

  • Earlier this summer ground was broken for the new Manning Regional Healthcare Center in Carroll County. The new hospital, which will replace a facility that was built in 1927, received a $21 million loan from USDA-RD.

When construction is completed Manning Regional Healthcare Center’s new 17-bed critical access hospital will also include a physician clinic and recovery center that will provide substance abuse treatment services for up to16 patients in a partial residential setting.

  • USDA announced in July a Rural Business Enterprise Grant totaling $50,000 was awarded to the Iowa Valley Resource Conservation & Development Inc. to support the Women Land and Legacy effort which provides technical assistance to women who own or are developing businesses and farm operations. These funds will be used in Iowa, Tama and Poweshiek counties.
  • In August the Iowa Economic Development Authority received a $200,000 USDA Rural Community Development Initiative grant to assist as many as 40 rural Iowa communities with historic commercial district revitalization projects.
  • The City of Joice received a $939,000 loan and $972,000 grant to help make sewer improvements that will enhance the water quality in the northern Iowa community. The project, which received funds from USDA Rural Development’s Water and Environmental Program, will install a new centralized gravity collection system with a centralized controlled discharge lagoon for the 245 residents in the City of Joice. The new collection system will replace failing individual septic systems.
  • Gundy Electric Cooperative Inc., which serves customers in Iowa and Missouri, was selected for a $5 million loan guarantee to build and improve 18 miles of distribution line and make other system improvements. The loan amount includes more than $700,000 in smart grid projects.

“Our agency is eager to build on the success of the past and help foster an even brighter future for rural Iowa,” Menner added. “If you have an idea on how jobs can be created in rural Iowa, or how a rural community can improve the quality of life experience for their residents, give us a call.”

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 Des Moines, Albia, Atlantic, Humboldt, Indianola, Iowa Falls, Le Mars, Mount Pleasant, Storm Lake, Tipton and Waverly.

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