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USDA Invests $331 Million to Build and Improve Critical Infrastructure in Rural Iowa

Name
Cecilia Lynch
City
Washington, DC
Release Date
Dec 16, 2021

Funding Will Expand Access to Clean Water and Dependable Electric Power in People’s Homes and Businesses in Rural Communities

WASHINGTON, Dec. 16, 2021 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that USDA is investing $5.2 billion to build and improve critical rural infrastructure in 46 states and Puerto Rico. The investments reflect the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to Building a Better America by investing in rural communities and will help expand access to high-speed internet, clean water and reliable electricity in people’s homes and businesses across rural America.

Rural communities across Iowa will receive $327,112,000 in loans and $4,824,883 in grant funding.

“When we invest in rural infrastructure, we invest in the livelihoods and health of people in rural America,” Secretary Vilsack said. “Under the leadership of President Biden and Vice President Harris, USDA is committed to Building a Better America by investing in America’s rural infrastructure, expanding access to broadband, clean drinking water and resilient power infrastructure. The investments we are announcing today will drive the creation of good-paying union jobs and grow the economy sustainably and equitably so that everyone gets ahead for decades to come.”

This announcement follows the recent passage of President Biden’s historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and reflects the many ways USDA Rural Development’s programs are helping people, businesses and communities address critical infrastructure needs to help rural America build back better. 

“Growing up on the farm, I learned how hard people in a rural community work to provide opportunities for their families to thrive,” said Theresa Greenfield, USDA Rural Development State Director in Iowa. “By making these strategic investments in clean water, energy, and community facilities, we are supporting quality of life issues in rural communities. People in rural areas deserve a chance to create great places to work, retire, visit, raise kids and live their American dream.”

View the list of Iowa recipients here. Examples include:

  • The Sac & Fox Tribe of the Mississippi in Iowa is receiving a $206,538 grant to assist with constructing a Fiber-to-the Premises system to benefit 220 residents in the Meskwaki Settlement, Tama County. The system will help expand access to economic, educational, health care, and public safety opportunities. A community center will be provided in an existing building where residents can access the Internet free of charge for at least two years.
  • The Calhoun County Electric Cooperative Association is receiving a $410,000 loan to assist with smart grid technologies to convert the AMI system from power line to AMI Radio Frequency communications. Calhoun County Electric is headquartered in Rockwell City and serves 1,700 customers through 758 miles of line in Calhoun, Greene, Pocahontas, Sac and Webster counties in west central Iowa.
     
  • The Southern Iowa Rural Water Association is receiving a $12,000,000 loan to assist with constructing a new water treatment plant. The water source will be Three Mile Lake, which has additional quantities of water withdrawal capacity available. This project will allow for reliable and safe potable drinking water at competitive costs.
     
  • The city of Farragut is receiving a $2,268,000 loan and a $772,000 grant to assist with renovating the existing lagoon cell. Funding will also be used to construct a chlorination and de-chlorination system, an aeration blower, an effluent lift station building, new piping, and make modifications to the existing lift station. These improvements will help the sewer systems meet floodplain standards.

Background

Secretary Vilsack highlighted 16 investments in rural Iowa that USDA is making in three programs designed to help people in rural areas access high-speed internet, clean water and dependable electric power. These programs the Community Connect Grants, Electric Infrastructure Loan and Loan Guarantee Program, Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant Program.

Contact USDA Rural Development

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.

To learn more about investment resources for rural areas in Iowa, call (515) 284-4663 or visit www.rd.usda.gov/ia. If you’d like to subscribe to USDA Rural Development updates, visit our GovDelivery subscriber page.

Under the Biden-Harris Administration, Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities, create jobs and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural, Tribal and high-poverty areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov.

USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. Under the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, promoting competition and fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate-smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov.

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