Two community-improvement projects in northwest Iowa are moving forward today thanks to loan and grant funds from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Rural Development mission area that will assist with a healthcare center expansion in Orange City and an elementary school building renovation in Pocahontas.
“Access to quality healthcare and education is critical for rural Iowans and the communities in which they reside,” said Bill Menner, USDA Rural Development State Director in Iowa. “Helping community leaders identify ways to improve these opportunities in rural America is an important emphasis at USDA Rural Development.”
The funding is being provided through USDA’s Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant (REDLG) program. Under this program, USDA provides zero-interest loans and grants to utilities and municipalities that lend funds to local businesses for projects to create and retain employment in rural areas. These revolving loan funds broaden the program’s reach and create a multiplier effect for its impact. Innovative USDA investments through this program are boosting economic development in rural communities all across the country.
The City of Pocahontas is receiving a $300,000 USDA rural economic development grant. The funds will be loaned to the Pocahontas Area Community School to help with the renovation of an elementary school building to improve the learning environment for local children.
Orange City’s municipal electric utility is receiving a $1,760,000 USDA rural economic development loan. The municipal electric utility is passing the loan funds to the Orange City Area Health Foundation to assist with a 12-unit expansion of its retirement community.
“At USDA Rural Development we make strategic investments in areas such as healthcare and education to help grow the economic engine in rural America,” Menner added. “Let us know how we can help you foster sustainable economic prosperity through a partnership for businesses, entrepreneurs and working families in rural communities.”
USDA Rural Development’s funding continues to have a dramatic impact on rural communities across Iowa. Since 2009, USDA Rural Development has invested more than $3 billion on essential public facilities, small and emerging businesses, water and sewer systems, and housing opportunities for Iowa families.
This past year USDA Rural Development’s investment in Iowa helped create or retain more than 1,000 jobs, aided 2,600 families in buying their own homes and assisted more than 60 communities as they made improvements to their facilities, services and infrastructure.
Contact USDA Rural Development
For more information about USDA Rural Development please call (515) 284-4663 or visit www.rd.usda.gov/ia.
USDA Rural Development has 11 offices across the state to serve the 1.7 million Iowans living in rural communities. 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.
President Obama’s plan for rural America has brought about historic investment and resulted in stronger rural communities. Under the President’s leadership, these investments in housing, community facilities, businesses and infrastructure have empowered rural America to continue leading the way – strengthening America’s economy, small towns and rural communities.