United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Missouri State Director Jeff Case announced today Missouri’s Three Rivers Electric is among 14 recipients nationwide receiving loan funds for infrastructure improvement.
“President Trump has made it a priority to rebuild American infrastructure and forge a path toward greater prosperity,” said State Director Case. “By investing in infrastructure, Three Rivers Electric Cooperative has also made it a priority to increase rural prosperity and improve the quality of life for rural Central Missouri communities.”
USDA’s $15 million investment will build 72 miles of line, improve 100 miles and make system improvements. The loan amount includes $474,000 for smart grid projects. Three Rivers serves 20,628 residential and 1,672 commercial borrowers over nearly 4,088 miles of energized line in Central Missouri. The Three Rivers service territory includes Osage, Gasconade, Cole, Maries, Miller, Franklin and Moniteau counties. The economy of the service area is based on agriculture, light industry, tourism/recreation and modest residential growth.
Smart grid includes technological enhancements such as metering, substation automation, computer applications, two-way communications and geospatial information systems.
Case’s announcement was made in conjunction with U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue who announced today the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $276 million in rural electric infrastructure nationwide. This announcement comes the day before Secretary Perdue is set to testify alongside Secretaries Wilbur Ross, Alexander Acosta, Elaine Chao and Rick Perry at a Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation hearing focused on rebuilding American infrastructure.
Nationwide, 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. This investment will build nearly 1,000 miles of line, improve 733 miles of line to meet current and future needs of rural businesses and residents, and will support $65 million in smart grid technologies to help rural electric utilities reduce outages and integrate new systems.
“Investing in our nation’s electric infrastructure is fundamental for rural economic growth,” Secretary Perdue said. “USDA’s longstanding partnerships with rural electric cooperatives help ensure that rural areas have affordable, reliable electric service. These investments also increase efficiency and productivity for businesses and residents, and support the quality of life in rural America.”
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. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov.