USDA Rural Development Nebraska State Director Karl Elmshaeuser today announced that more than a $8.2 million loan will be used by KBR Rural Public Power District, headquartered in Ainsworth, Neb., to connect 260 consumers and build and improve 65 miles of line. This project includes $418,338 in smart grid technologies. The power district serves 4,847 customers over 2,604 miles of line in five counties in north central Nebraska.
“USDA’s Electric Loan Program helps to make reliable, affordable electricity available to rural Nebraskans,” said Elmshaeuser. “In order to make America prosper we need to ensure ample electrical infrastructure to support the economy and quality of life needed for Nebraska rural residents.
Elmshaeuser’s announcement is in coordination with U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Stephen Censky that USDA is investing $201 million to improve rural water infrastructure in 31 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.
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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