Timothy Helmbrecht, USDA Rural Development Acting State Director in Iowa, today announced that Southwest Iowa Rural Electric Cooperative is receiving a $6,100,000 USDA Rural Development loan to build 69 miles of line, improve 96 miles of line and make other system improvements.
Southwest Iowa Rural Electric Cooperative, with locations in Corning, Mt. Ayr and Stanton, serves 5,574 residential and nearly 300 commercial customers in 11 southwest Iowa counites including: Adams, Adair, Cass, Decatur, Fremont, Mills, Montgomery, Page, Ringgold, Taylor and Union.
“Our rural communities are the heartbeat of Iowa and bring to the state a workforce dedicated to innovation and an entrepreneurial spirit,” Helmbrecht said. “USDA Rural Development is focused on making infrastructure improvements in rural America, enhancing strategic partnerships and embracing innovation to continue to increase economic opportunity and create jobs in rural communities and areas.”
The funding to Southwest Iowa Rural Electric Cooperative was part of a $276 million USDA investment that will build nearly 1,000 miles of line and improve 733 miles of line to meet current and future needs of rural businesses and residents across the county. It will also support $65 million in smart grid technologies to help rural electric utilities reduce outages and integrate new systems.
Smart grid includes technological enhancements such as metering, substation automation, computer applications, two-way communications and geospatial information systems.
Investments are being made in Colorado, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Ohio and Virginia. The loan guarantees are being provided through USDA Rural Development’s Electric Program, which is the successor to the Rural Electrification Administration.
In April 2017, President Donald J. Trump established the Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity to identify legislative, regulatory and policy changes that could promote agriculture and prosperity in rural communities. In January 2018, Secretary Perdue presented the Task Force’s findings to President Trump. These findings included 31 recommendations to align the federal government with state, local and tribal governments to take advantage of opportunities that exist in rural America. Increasing investments in rural infrastructure is a key recommendation of the task force.
To view the report in its entirety, please view the Report to the President of the United States from the Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity (PDF, 5.4 MB). In addition, to view the categories of the recommendations, please view the Rural Prosperity infographic (PDF, 190 KB).
USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community services such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas.
Contact USDA Rural Development
Information on programs available through USDA Rural Development is available by visiting www.rd.usda.gov/ia or by calling (515) 284-4663.
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.
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