USDA-Rural Development Alaska Announces $2.16 Billion in Program Investments

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U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development (USDA-RD) Alaska State Director Jim Nordlund today announced that the agency is releasing its 8-Year Progress Report detailing the loans and grants invested in 236 rural Alaskan communities. 

“Since 2009, USDA-RD Alaska has invested $2.16 billion in 236 rural Alaskan communities.  These investments include project funding for housing, community facilities, business, energy, water and sewer, telecom and electric.  This funding has helped to grow rural Alaska’s economy and enhance the quality of life for its rural residents,” said Nordlund.

Some examples of project funding and successes include:

  • From 2009 – 2016, $295 million in obligated grants and loans were made across rural Alaska for water, sewer and solid waste projects, technical assistance and training, preliminary engineering and planning, and solid waste management projects.

  • In 2015, the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation (YKHC) in Bethel was awarded a $165 million loan from USDA-RD Alaska to provide permanent financing for a new 129,600 square foot primary care clinic and 110,000 square foot hospital remodel in Bethel, Alaska. YKHC is the only full service health provider for 50 communities in the Yukon-Kuskokwim delta, an area almost the size of Oregon.

  • In 2014, more than $1 million in Distance Learning and Telemedicine grants were awarded to two rural school districts and one rural regional health consortium to improve the delivery of health care and educational services.

  • In 2013 the Kotzebue Electric Association, Inc. received $2,900,000 from USDA-RD’s Rural Utilities Service to fund system improvements designed to reduce energy use in the homes and businesses they serve.The funding helped increase voltage to their wind site and brought more service capacity.The advantage to the end-user is clear; a cleaner environment and a reduced cost of energy.

  • In 2012, an $88 million combination loan and grant was awarded to GCI for their TERRA-Southwest Project through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. This project provides 65 remote, rural communities in Bristol Bay and the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta with access to terrestrial broadband service.
  • In 2011, two Alaskan businesses received USDA-RD Rural Energy for America Program grant awards totaling nearly $500,000 for major energy projects in Juneau and Hooper Bay.

Jim Nordlund has been the Alaska State Director for USDA-RD since the start of the Obama administration in 2009.  As a presidential appointee, Mr. Nordlund will be resigning his position effective January 20th.  Renee Johnson has been appointed as Acting State Director and will serve in that capacity until a new State Director is appointed by the Trump administration.  Ms. Johnson may be contacted at: (907) 761-7712, or renee.johnson@ak.usda.gov.

For more information on our many loan and grant programs and other USDA-RD Alaska success stories, please contact Jim Nordlund at: (907) 229-4276, or jim.nordlund@ak.usda.gov.

Last Modified: 01/12/2017