West River Electric Association, Inc. Recipient of USDA Funding

Tammi Schone
Rapid City
South Dakota
Release Date
May 18, 2015
West River Electric Assocaition, Inc. Photo

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Area Director Tim Potts and Rural Business Service Deputy Administrator Sam Rikkers jointly announced a $720,000 loan for West River Electric Association, Inc. to promote rural economic development.  The funds will be loaned at zero percent interest to the Wall School District to assist with the construction of an athletic complex.

The new facility will include a synthetic turf field to accommodate football practice and home games as well as an all-weather track for practice and to host competition meets.  The existing football field is very old and in need of many improvements and the existing track is unusable for track and field events.  The school intends to continue to promote a healthy lifestyle by incorporating the use of the new facility for school sponsored functions as well as community based activities such as youth football, cheer leading, AAU wrestling, youth gymnastics and girls scouts.

“For some rural communities, economic growth can be a challenge,” said USDA Rural Development Acting State Director Bruce Jones.  “This new athletic complex will be a huge asset to the school and community as a whole.”

Today’s funding announcement is being provided through USDA’s Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant program (REDLG), which provides zero interest loans and grants to local utilities 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.

Since the beginning of the Obama Administration, the REDLG program has helped create or save more than 32,000 rural jobs, provided almost $338 million in economic development assistance, improved manufacturing capability, and expanded health care and educational facilities and helped expand or establish almost 1,200 rural businesses and community projects.

While in South Dakota, Deputy Administrator Rikkers visited Sturgis Economic Development Corporation, Advanced Aluminum Structures, Inc., Legends Suspensions, and Tatanka:  Story of the Buffalo.

Deputy Administrator Rikkers’ visit in the state coincides with the bi-annual South Dakota Indian Business Alliance Conference being held in Deadwood, SD on May 18 – 20, 2015.  Mr. Rikker was a guest speaker.  The 2015 conference theme is “Expanding Economies in the New Native America” and is focused on building Indian business.  
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.