USDA Invests $6.5 Million in Indiana Rural Electric Infrastructure

Name
Miranda Onorio
Phone
City
Indianapolis
Release Date
Mar 04, 2020

Indiana Rural Development State Director Michael Dora announced today that USDA is investing a 6.5 million through our Electric Loan Program to improve and provide reliable electric infrastructure for Decatur County, Greensburg, Indiana residents.

“Improving electric service in rural areas is fundamental for our rural communities’ economic development,” Dora said. “Our loan will significantly help expand, upgrade, and modernize where it is needed most.”

Decatur County Rural Electric Membership Corporation (REMC) is receiving a $6,500,00 loan investment to connect 372 consumers to build and improve 101 miles of line. Decatur, headquartered in Greensburg, Ind., serves 7,995 customers over 1,058 miles of line in six counties in southeastern Indiana.

Today’s investment is part of Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Stephen Censky’s announcement that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $900 million to build, preserve or improve rural electric infrastructure across 16 states. USDA is providing financing through the Electric Loan Program. It will help build and improve 2,743 miles of line to strengthen reliability in rural areas and will benefit 1.1 million rural residents and businesses. The loans include $17 million for investments in smart grid technology that uses digital communications to detect and react to local changes in electricity usage.

“Rural electric cooperatives have been the champions of rural electric infrastructure, the lifeblood of America’s heartland, in every state across the country since the Rural Electrification Administration’s efforts in the 1930s,” Censky said. “Under the leadership of President Trump and Agriculture Secretary Perdue, USDA is committed to continuing this strong and critical partnership to increase prosperity across rural America, because when rural America thrives, all of America thrives.”

Other states that are receiving funding under today’s announcement are Arkansas, California, Georgia, Kentucky, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Virginia.

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 facilities such as schools, public safety, and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov.

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